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Online social networks and data mining make it possible for researchers today to trace the spread and influence of ideas across webs of connected individuals in real time. But piecing together those links is trickier for scholars studying thinkers and leaders of 16th and 17th centuries who used letters instead of Facebook.
A new project called Six Degrees of Francis Bacon aims to gather known connections of the Early Modern era in a vast visual network to track the spread of tropes, images, ideas, ranging from religious toleration to the circulation of blood.
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