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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

This Seminar has been RESCHEDULED from 13 November: The History and Future of Artificial Light Seminar Series - 'Lenghtening the Day: improvements in lighting from classical oil lamps to LED'

6th November 2013, 13:00 to 14:00, Derman Christopherson Room, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University, Brian Bowers (Ex Science Museum)

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.

Brian Bowers is a former Senior Curator at the Science Museum in London, and has written several books on the history of lighting and energy supply technology. If you would like to discuss individually with Brian on the morning of the 6th please email to arrange this.

If you would like to join Brian for a sandwich lunch from 1230 in the seminar venue, please email to register, including any special dietary requirements.

This event forms part of the Institute of Advanced Study's "History and Future of Artificial Light" series.

Contact for more information about this event.