Conversations on Nature at the University of Leicester Library

If you were a member of ‘genteel’ Victorian society, a ‘conversazione’ may very well have been the highlight of your social calendar. Dressed in your finest, you would have proceeded to the nearest public hall to enjoy polite conversation and learned lectures on all branches of the arts and particularly the sciences. An array of exciting and interesting objects, such as fossils or microscopes, would be arranged on tables for your inspection. Practitioners of science would be on hand to explain the latest theories and experiments, perhaps with the aid of a ‘magic lantern’, an image projector powered by a (worryingly volatile) oxy-hydrogen flame or ‘limelight’. It was an opportunity to see and be seen, in addition to keeping abreast of cutting-edge research. An illustration by Richard Doyle, published in an 1862 issue of the Cornhill Magazine, perfectly captures such an event in progress.

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Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century – Seminars Hilary Term 2015

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Our programme for Hilary Term 2015 is now announced, with four seminars taking place at St Anne’s College.

Drinks will be served after each seminar and all are welcome.

Tuesday 20 January 2015 (Week 1)

Alison Byerly, President of Lafayette College, Pennsylvania.

Virtuality and Presence: Victorian Media and the Attenuation of the Self

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 1, St Anne’s College

Wednesday 4 February 2015 (Week 3)

Clare Pettitt, Professor of Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture, King’s College London

Mermaids, Cables and the Deep Sea: The Fin de Siècle and the Telegraphic Imaginary

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Wednesday 18 February 2015 (Week 5)

Laura Marcus, Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford

‘Rhythmics’: The Work of Rhythm in the Nineteenth Century

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Tuesday 3 March 2015 (Week 7)

Bernard Lightman, Professor of Humanities, York University, Toronto

Lost in Translation: Scientific Naturalists and Their Language Games

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 1, St Anne’s College




People Power at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.

On 20th November, Sally Frampton led the Oxford wing of Constructing Scientific Communities in running ‘People Power’, an evening event devoted to citizen science past and present, held in the beautiful surroundings of the Museum of the History of Science. Open to all, the evening was part of ‘Being Human’, a nationwide Festival of the Humanities sponsored by the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Over the space of two weeks, a host of Universities and other institutions across the country ran a diverse range of public events, showcasing the best of humanities research and demonstrating its relevance to everyday life.

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