The four arches bordering the Great Hall are dedicated to four institutions of learning that preceded the US Academy of Sciences. The Lincean Academy, founded in 1603, is famous for having Galileo among its members. It devoted many resources to building natural history collections and aggressively promoted anatomical dissection. These new methods of experimentation and observation transformed natural history and medicine, beginning a transition from reliance on the authority of ancient authors to active and critical investigation. Federico Cesi's death in 1630 led to the demise of the Lincean Academy. Galileo was condemned by the Inquisition in 1633, but natural history continued to thrive. By the mid-seventeenth century a diverse group of practitioners-Jesuit experimentalists, Aristotelian naturalists, self-professed Baconians and Galileans-all participated in this blossoming enterprise. This was the forerunner of private and government associations of natural philosophers who gathered outside the universities (whose curricula remained focused on the works and methods of Aristotle) to discuss and engage in the "new sciences" based on observation and experiment. The Lincean Academy was re-founded in the nineteenth century, and it continues to thrive today in its role as supporter and venue for all disciplines, as it had begun.