Science and Satire in Early Modern England
Professor Mordechai Feingold, History at the California Institute of Technology
Co-presented by the Sydney Intellectual History Network and the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science at the University of Sydney
The Royal Society was founded in 1660s London to discuss promoting knowledge of the natural world through observation and experiment, what we now call science. In his 1667 History of the Royal Society, Thomas Sprat articulated the acute danger posed by the “Wits and Railleurs of this Age” to the new science. Mordechai Feingold offers a framework to better appreciate the range of issues that made science an anathema to many of its critics, and the role that the Royal Society and its proceedings came to play, sometimes inadvertently, in exacerbating this hostility. In particular, the disparity between the magnitude of the objectives boasted by the proponents of the Society, and the poverty of their actual accomplishments, engendered contention, with satire becoming the opponents’ weapon of choice.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Professor Mordechai Feingold is professor of History in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is the author of The Newtonian Moment: Isaac Newton and the Making of Modern Culture and Newton and the Origin of Civilization (with Jed Buchwald). He is currently working on the history of the Royal Society.
Tuesday 27 October 2015
6 – 7.30pm History Room
The University of Sydney
RSVP Free event with online registration requested. Please click here for the registration page.