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On The Origins Of The Royal Society

The Royal Society was not the professional organization it is today; [in Thomas Bayes' time] it was a private organization of dues-paying amateurs from the landed gentry. But it played a vital role because amateurs would produce some of the era's breakthroughs.

[...]

The earl and the Royal's Society's energetic secretary, John Canton, operated an informal network of peer reviewers who critiqued one another's work.

-- Sharon Bertsch McGrayne

from "The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy"

Quoted on Sat Jul 7th, 2012