Margaret Cavendish is well-known as a scientific philosopher who was excluded from the Royal Society, despite being the first woman to attend one of their meetings in 1667. Cavendish used this outsider status to question the Society’s claims to authority and objectivity, and instead suggested that their experimental methods could be misused to construct scientific proof, by distortion of the senses. By reading Cavendish as addressing the construction of scientific knowledge, this essay will argue that her writing is resonant in the current academic climate, which has become increasingly self-reflective about the role of the researcher in making as well as communicating knowledge.

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