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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The History and Future of Artificial Light Seminar - Artificial Use of Natural Light in the Middle Ages - Optics, Science and Wellbeing

5th March 2014, 12:00 to 14:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Cosins Hall, Palace Green, Cecilia Panti (University of Rome)

Additional details to follow.

From the first use of animal fats for illumination purposes to the large-scale lighting systems of global cities in the twenty-first century, artificial light has had profound effects on human experience, and continues to open a wide range of cultural and economic possibilities while also increasingly determining human behaviour. This seminar series will trace the development of artificial light from medieval times, through the advent of electric lighting, to questions surrounding the future of energy supply and its implications for uses of light which are often taken for granted, and on which advanced economies have come to depend. The series will explore the technical and social aspects of blackouts, the absence of light, which is the iconic concept in the field of (electrical) energy security, and which also formed a major part of social conditions in the great wars of the 20th-Century.

Contact for more information about this event.