London Dreaming…

The Linnean Society, The Royal Geographic Society, The Royal Geological Society, The Natural History Museum…

The Royal Society is hosting a series of free lunch time lectures on the history of science. On October 29 at 1:00 PM they are featuring Professor Brian J. Ford, an expert on the history of microscopy:

The birth of microscopy is here shown to be very different from the traditional view. Standard texts inform us that pioneers, like Hooke, used compound microscopes to investigate the microscopic world. Yet there is a paradox: the fine images in works like Hooke’s Micrographia (1665) include details that contemporaneous compound microscopes could not resolve.

The single lensed (=simple) microscope has been dismissed as a crude instrument of limited capacity, and recent demonstrations on television have confirmed this view. Today we shall discover that remarkably clear images were obtained by lenses of diminutive size (often no larger than the head of a pin). The work of Hooke, Leeuwenhoek and Robert Brown is re-examined, and their remarkable results are now reconciled with the technical capacity of the instruments they used in their investigations.

See the Royal Society Events Diary for more on the lunchtime  lectures.

Wish I could be there…

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