Reflections on Water Public Lecture - Going Swimmingly: Rivers of Rebirth and Recreation
This is the ninth lecture in the 'Reflections on Water' public lecture series.
Rivers today (especially those that flow through cities) are supposedly cleaner than at any time since the onset of industrialization. In the context of this rehabilitation, urban dwellers across Europe and North America are rediscovering their fluvial connections and identities.
For some, the critical measure of a river’s rejuvenation is the return of fish (and fishability). For others, the litmus test of a river’s rebirth is its swimmability. With reference to this recent river renaissance and the growing popularity of ‘wild swimming’, this talk examines river swimming in various forms. After discussing a range of high profile individual river swims (Chairman Mao’s political swims, Martin Strel’s record-setting swims and Chris Swain’s clean-water advocacy swims), Peter Coates explores the urban river bathing traditions of Berlin and Vienna.
This series of public lectures will bring together eminent scientists, historians, theologians and philosophers, stimulating speakers involved in current research, to shed new light on the nature and cultural significance of a very familiar substance.
The level of the talks will be aimed at a general audience to encourage everyone from students and the interested general public to attend.
ALL IAS LECTURE ARE OPEN TO ALL AND FREE TO ATTEND
Image credit: 'History of the Water Module', R. Hayward, reproduced from L. Pauling and R. Hayward, The Architecture of Molecules (San Francisco: W H Freeman and Co., 1964).
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