History of (each and every one of) the sciences in 50 minutes

· London

 

Last Thursday 15th February 2018 at 19.00h, Dr. Francisco González Redondo, from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, summarised in just 50 minutes the history of all sciences, starting with what should be consider science and scientist. The event took place at the University College London (G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building, Torrington Place (Corner with with Malet Place), London WC1E 7JE) and gathered around 30 people who had the opportunity to discuss the sometimes polemic statements with Dr. González during the drinks and nibbles that followed the talk.

 

 

Summary:

When putting together the history of a scientific discipline, i.e., Maths or Astronomy, for a conference or a course, there is a common issue: the speaker surprises the audience with all the registered events associated to the Palaeolithic art, motivates them with the knowledge contained in the Mesopotamian cuneiform tables and enthusiasts everybody with the evolution of maths and astronomy in Old Greece, from Hesiod’s Theogony to the end of the Neoplatonic school at Alexandria associated with Hypatia’s tragedy. Time flies and we would have not reached Kepler’s laws by the time we find we have five minutes left before the conference finishes or a week before the students must sit their exam.
The issue might lie in an unsolved polemic question: as scientific disciplines, i.e. as Sciences, what’s actually Maths?, What’s actually Astronomy?, What’s actually Physics?, What’s actually Biology?

With the aim of contributing to the solution of these difficulties, in this seminar a different model for the organization of the History of any Science is proposed. Once explained the model for Maths and Astronomy, the seminar will move onto other fields such as Physics, Biology, Geology , Chemistry … i.e. each and every Science.