Monthly Archives: April 2012

My Royal Society talk: Maskelyne’s reputation

Readers of this blog may be interested to listen to a talk I gave at the Royal Society last week. Audio and slideshow versions are available here. The talk was entitled “Hero or villain? Nevil Maskelyne’s posthumous reputation” and, while pointing … Continue reading

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Who put the names on the moon?

If you have ever looked at a map of the moon you might have noticed that many of the selenographical features are named after astronomers and you might just have asked yourself how come? At this point several of my … Continue reading

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A knighthood for science?

On 16th April 1705 Queen Anne surprised the audience at her visit to Cambridge University by knighting the ex-Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Isaac Newton. This dubbing was as much of a surprise to Newton as it was to everybody else. Now … Continue reading

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Giants’ Shoulders #45

Due to circumstances beyond our control (I also wanted to write that) the history of science blog carnival Giants’ Shoulders #45 has been delayed and will now be appearing at the Providentia  blog hosted by Romeo Vitelli on 23rd April.

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A revisionist historian of science on the Scientific American Guest Blog.

Over the Easter Weekend the Scientific American Guest Blog posted a three-part essay by historian of science, Gennady Gorelik.  How the Modern Physics was invented in the 17th century, part 1: The Needham Question, How the Modern Physics was invented in … Continue reading

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“…and then he missed it” – David Rittenhouse and the Transit of Venus 1769

Sometime ago I wrote of the 18th century French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil and the misfortune that he suffered in his attempts to observe the transits of Venus in 1761 and 1769. Although nobody could possibly compete with him when it comes to … Continue reading

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Inside a Herbarium (finding history amongst the science)

This week I had the pleasure of seeing inside the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. I have, very often and from earliest childhood, enjoyed walking in the gardens and hothouses, but this was the first time I … Continue reading

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