Where – The Royal Institution
When – Tuesday 6th Feb 2018
Info – Literary historian Gregory Tate asks why a surprising number of scientists write poetry. Offering a rare chance to see manuscripts from the Royal Institution’s archives, Tate’s talk will explore the poetry of two nineteenth-century scientists who worked at the Royal Institution: the pioneering chemist Humphry Davy, and the Victorian physicist and science communicator John Tyndall. The archives reveal that, as they made their discoveries in the Royal Institution’s laboratory and lectured in its theatre, Davy and Tyndall also devoted much of their time to the writing of poems. Tate will show how poetry contributed to the development of groundbreaking scientific theories in the nineteenth century, and will consider whether it still has a part to play in scientific research today.