Forthcoming Research Seminars and Lectures
14th June 2012: David Knight (Durham) - Fame in Art and Science
(16 November 2011)
Weekly Research Seminar
This seminar will be held in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. Refreshments will be served from 11am with the talk commencing at 11.30am.
Title: Fame in Art and Science
Coleridge's 'Age of Personality': then The Friend, ed. B. E. Rooke, Routledge, 1969, 1, 471:
'If in SHAKESPEARE we find nature idealised into poetry, through the creative power of a profound yet observant meditation, so through the meditative observation of a DAVY, a WOOLLASTON, or a HATCHETT ... we find poetry... substantiated and realized in nature; yea nature itself disclosed to ... us as once the poet and the poem'
(1) What does/did fame mean, particularly for a chemical philosopher?
(2) How necessary was fame to Davy's career?
(3) What about posthumous fame?
Fickle? Wayward aristocrats, courtesans, mountebanks, actors, pugilists, jockeys?
Brash, tawdry, self-advertising?.
'Regency' period: both meritocratic & snobbish.
Notoriety: Priestley. Cartoons (e.g. Gillray) Davy
Professional standing: Hatchett
Local worthy: Dalton
Star performer & researcher, pure & applied: Davy
Lectures: Inaugural; Coleridge, Jane Marcet, Mary Shelley
Dynamical chemistry (Priestley's vision) → Potassium & chlorine; Institut, Paris.
Banks, 1815: 'Many thanks for your Kind Letter which has given me unspeakable Pleasure. Much as by the more brilliant discoveries you have made The Reputation of the R.S. has been exalted in the Opinion of the Scientific world, I am of Opinion that the Solid & Effective Reputation of that Body will be more advanced among our Contemporaries of all Ranks by your Present discovery than it has been by all the Rest' (Selected Correspondence, ed. N. Chambers, Imperial College Press, London, 2000, p.317).
Creative bursts, poetry, French wars, dinner-party lion, glamorous/swagger portraits
Lasting fame in Science:
Units: Watt, Volta, Ampère
Geographical features: Dolomieu, Murchison
Medals, lectures: Wollaston, Davy, Rumford
Pupils, research school: Gay-Lussac; Davy? - Edmund, John, Faraday
Devices, apparatus: Davy, Liebig
Literature: Davy- Clerihew, Anne Brontë, Tenant of Wildfell Hall - ?
Syndrome: Parkinson, Dalton
Do revivals/reassessments happen with scientific fame as with Art? Banks?