I’m currently about two thirds of the way through the audio version of James Gleick’s book “Isaac Newton”.
What I’m enjoying most about the biography is hearing about the goings-on at the Royal Society, newly formed in Newton’s day. What emerges from the book, in my opinion, is that the innovation in forming such a society was at least as important as Newton’s discoveries. You can see in the Society’s activities the beginning of peer review, of the journal system, of the need to do experiments reproducing others’ results, and of the need to cite others’ work appropriately.
It’s very interesting to read about the little intrigues that went on. Someone would publish a new result; Hooke, or Newton, or some other eminence would then claim “Oh, I obtained those results many years ago”. That’s all very well, but if someone obtains a result, and then puts the only record in their filing cabinet, Science does not advance. Only through publication in archived, widely accessible journals does Science advance. Many early members of the Royal Society seemed to understanding this instinctively, and they moved toward an institutional system in which work is not done until it is published.