London Trip – Royal Institution

I am in London right now, on a research trip to the archives of the Royal Institution, for Tyndall material, and at Kew on Thursday for J.D. Hooker material. Today I held in my hand a letter from Darwin to Tyndall that was inserted into one of Tyndall’s journals, the subject being of a biological nature. I am specifically looking for references to Darwin/evolution in Tyndall’s journals, notes, etc. Today I found some. Hopefully more tomorrow and Wednesday. Snapped a bunch of pictures of various exhibits, portraits, and areas of the Royal Institution. Enjoy!

John Tyndall, Royal Institution of Great Britain

John Tyndall, Royal Institution of Great Britain

Wednesday night I plan to see Creation at a theatre near my lodgings (which is the home of Darwin groupie Karen, who has been an online friend and whom I met on my trip to Cambridge in July). Friday I spend my day at the Natural History Museum and Darwin Centre (George Beccaloni wants to show me some of the Wallace Collection), and Saturday down to Downe to see Darwin’s home and laboratory for four decades. Sunday I fly home.

If only my bag (and my clothes) could get delivered to me, because it wasn’t at Heathrow when I got there. I am tired of wearing what I wore on Saturday.

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Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm  Comments (4)  
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Tyndall Project Awarded an NSF Grant

The Tyndall Project has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, allowing the project to get started at several other universities, including ASU. Here is the abstract for the grant:

This is a project to coordinate and complete the transcription of letters and other scholarly works of the Victorian physicist John Tyndall (1820-1893) as intiated by the John Tyndall Correspondence Project. Tyndall was one of the most influential scientists of the nineteenth century. He became a leading figure in the debates over evolution, defending Darwin against his harshest critics, and he published numerous essays and popular books on the role of science and the burgeoning scientist in broader culture. He was an eminent practicing physicist, publishing significant works in electro-magnetism, thermodynamics, sound, glaciers, global warming, and spontaneous generation. He was also an accomplished alpinist, largely responsible for the growth of mountaineering as a sport. In short, Tyndall stood at the intersection of some of the most important developments in science and society, and his correspondence touches on all of them. His published correspondence will interest humanists ranging from historians to literary scholars, as well as scientists, from glaciologists and climatologists to physicists and biologists. One of the primary goals of the project is to publish a one-volume calendar of Tyndall’s correspondence and to issue (a projected) ten volumes of his collected correspondence, both in print and eventually in an accessible, searchable, on-line format. The other primary goal is to galvanize a community of scholars at varied stages in their careers, from graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to junior and senior scholars, around themes raised through an intense study of John Tyndall. The project puts graduate students at the center of the project, thereby constructing a new cooperative model of graduate student training and research that can be used for other correspondence projects or similar large-scale endeavors. This is an innovative model of graduate education and training that will promote the development by graduate students of new research questions within a collaborative research project fostered at several of the top history of science and technology programs.

More information about the grant can be had here. My advisor at Montana State was the PI for this grant, and I assisted him in editing parts of the proposal and putting together the bibliography for it.

Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 10:22 am  Comments (1)