Annual Joint BSHM / Gresham College Lecture

Gresham College, Barnards Inn Hall, Holborn, London EC1N 2HH
Thursday 4 November 2010, 6pm (Reception with Rhenish wine and mackaroons from 5:30pm)

Dr Patricia Fara (Cambridge University), Triangular Relationships

And first, the fair PARABOLA behold,
Her timid arms with virgin blush unfold!...

Mathematical poetry may seem an unlikely form of satire, but 'The Loves of the Triangles' (1798) was not only a clever parody of Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather) but also a powerful political commentary expressing contemporary fears of revolution and evolution.

Patricia Fara has a degree in physics from Oxford and a PhD in History of Science from London.  Now based at Cambridge University, she is the Senior Tutor of Clare College and lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science Department.  Her major research topics are eighteenth-century England and scientific portraits but she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science.Her most recent major publication is Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009) but others include Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire: The Story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks (2003) and Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004).  In addition to her work for TV and radio she regularly writes reviews and articles for publications such as Nature, The Times Literary Supplement, BBC Knowledge and Endeavour.

Further information is available on the Gresham College website.

This is the latest in the BSHM / Gresham College series of lectures, which has been running since 2000. Previous lectures in the series were as follows (with links to the Gresham College lecture archive where video and/or audio recordings of most of these lectures can be found):

Triangular Relationships, by Dr Patricia Fara (4 November 2010)
Mathematics, Motion and Truth, by Professor Jeremy Gray (2 November 2009)
Mathematics and the Medici, by Jim Bennett (27 November 2008)
Planes and pacifism: Activities and attitudes of British mathematicians during WWI by June Barrow-Green (15 November 2007)
From World Brain to the World Wide Web, by Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly (9 November 2006)
History from Below, by Dr Stephen Johnston (3 November 2005)
The Celestial Geometry of John Flamsteed, by Dr Allan Chapman (10 February 2005)
Mathematics in the Metropolis, by Adrian Rice (19 January 2004)
James Joseph Sylvester - Jewish mathematician, by Karen Parshall (24 September 2002)
The incommunicable Doctor Pell, by Jackie Stedall (31 October 2001)
The Gresham Professors of Geometry: Henry Briggs to Roger Penrose, by Robin Wilson (18 October 2000)


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