Monday, July 23, 2018

17th Century Science Ciphers

Did you know? It was common in the 17th Century for scientists to publish cipher-versions of early findings, so as to establish priority in the discovery. (Something of an early, public-encrypted arXiv, as it were.) Huygens wrote in 1668:
a way of securing his discoveries and inventions for the future by way of cypher or anagram, to be lodged in the Register-book of the society, till he should think it convenient to explain them in a common language; making withal a beginning of this way of communicating new discoveries by sending the following cypher; which was ordered to be entered into the Register-book.

Stack Exchange: Skeptics.

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