The novel depicts a mythical island, Bensalem, ben meaning son and salem meaning whole or complete, the name could be interpreted as “The Son of Wholeness”. In the book, the island is discovered by the crew of a European ship after they are lost in the Pacific Ocean somewhere west of Peru. The minimal plot serves the gradual unfolding of the island, its customs, but most importantly, its state-sponsored scientific institution, Salomon’s House.
In New Atlantis, Bacon portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge, expressing his aspirations and ideals for humankind. The novel depicts the creation of a utopian land where “generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit” are the commonly held qualities of the island inhabitants. The plan and organisation of his ideal college, Salomon’s House, envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure sciences.