How would the Royal Society react to news of walking corpses and would germ theory or other medical sciences be advanced due to the study of them? What theories and conclusions about the cause and transmission of the disease are likely to be reached by scientific societies and/or individual natural philosophers? The year is 1715, the zombies are walking dead style and some have been successfully captured to be studied.
OK, I'll bite. The stated question is,
How would early 18th century scientists and the community react to news of these walking corpses?
The community will likely react with torches and pitchforks.
The scientists will be fascinated and will attempt to study the zombies, if they can figure out a way to do so safely.
Animation/re-animation (and the nature of life itself) were being actively studied by the Royal Society members and other 'gentleman scientists.' In fact, the basis for Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is probably Johann Dippel -- who lived in Castle Frankenstein itself and was very involved in re-animation attempts:
A minor point re diction and clarity: Without context, the phrase, 'zombie scientists' could either mean scientists who study zombies, or zombies who study unspecified things. Please don't discount zombie scientists, some of them are among our cleverest braaiins: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/397:_Unscientific
The zombies would be labeled as witchcraft, most likely. Worst case scenario, people would go on a witch hunt, providing more bodies to be infected. If there's only one or two zombies, the peoples would try to kill them, or burn them at the stake. if it was a full apocalypse then humanity's screwed. If you're in a wizards and witchcraft scenario, humanity's fine.