History of Science

The NLO History of Science Group

The History of Science Group holds informal meetings for talks and discussion about all topics related to the history of science and technology. The majority of talks relate to some aspect of astronomy or astrophysics, but since the first meeting of the Group in the autumn of 1999 there have been talks on a wider range of topics including meteorology, computing, lives of famous scientists, digital mapping, the electricity- supply industry, advances in electronic devices and smart materials. For each meeting there is usually one main talk, which is advertised in advance, and short discussions on other topics that have come to the attention of members. In other words the meeting format is quite variable.

The Group usually meets on the first Tuesday of each month from October to June at 2.30 pm. There is no formal membership and any member of the NLO is most welcome to attend (without notice) if a talk is likely to be of interest. The attendance of regular, occasional and one-off members fluctuates, and is around 15 members at present. Most of the talks are given by our regular members, but the Group would be pleased to welcome other NLO members, particularly those who would be willing to speak about their past work or special interests.

The monthly meetings are organised by Keith Orrell (korrell@uk2.net) and Alan Martin (martinsinvennottery@gmail.com). They are keen to increase the size of the Group somewhat and would be pleased to provide more information about any of the meetings.

Programme of Forthcoming Talks

Date Topic Speaker
8th Jan 2019 The Astrolabe Allan Jones
5th Feb 2019 The History of Microwaves Bob Miles
5th March 2019 What is Time? Gordon Peckham
2nd April 2019 The Remarkable Life of Henry Cavendish Keith Orrell
7th May 2019 Time and the Symmetrical Universe Vernon Wynn
4th June 2019 The History of Art in Astronomy – Visions of Space John Meacham
The Astrolabe by Allan Jones – 8th January 2019
Allan will explain the way that the astrolabe was used by early astronomers and navigators to measure the inclined position in the sky of celestial bodies.
The History of Microwaves – 5th February 2019
Bob will talk about the discovery, properties and uses of microwaves in modern life without mentioning microwave cooking!

Time and the Symmetrical Universe – 7th May
This will cover Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity in everyday life, the mystic properties of time, and how Paul Dirac glimpsed another time – universe.

The History of Art in Astronomy – Visions of Space – 4th June
John will talk about astro art including some of his own art as he is a talented painter himself.

The Group will resume after the summer break on 1 October.