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After a period of decline in the late seventeenth century, the first decades of the eighteenth century saw a renewed interest and vitality on the part of the Society in the area of scientific research. Spurred by the vigorous intellectual climate of the Enlightenment, scientific writings by members of the Society increased in number and began to show a marked tendency to turn away from traditional Aristotelian topics and the quasi-mystical theories of Kircher and his school, and move toward the developing sciences of engineering, natural history, and technology.