Throughout the centuries there have been rare individuals who have been polymaths, often making significant contributions to knowledge through their interests covering a number of different fields. Across the eras from medieval times up to the last century, this conference will spotlight several polymaths who were well known for their key ideas in physics as well as in other areas and it will examine how having a complex body of knowledge across subjects has contributed to progress in science.
Registration to attend this conference is free but booking is required to attend the conference as below.
IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE INCLUDING THE CONFERENCE DINNER:
ONLINE LIVESTREAMING ON YOUTUBE:
The programme for the day is below:
MORNING CHAIR: Dr Patricia Fara (University of Cambridge)
10.30 am WELCOME
10.40 am Professor Charles Burnett (University of London) - ‘Al-Birūnī and Ibn al-Haytham, Two Outstanding Polymaths of 11th Century Islam’
11.30 am Professor Sachiko Kusukawa (University of Cambridge) - A Sincere Hand and a Faithful Eye: The Many Interests of Robert Hooke
12.20 pm Andrew Robinson (author of "The Last Man Who Knew Everything") - Thomas Young: The Last Man Who Knew Everything?
1.15 pm LUNCH BREAK
AFTERNOON CHAIR: Professor June Barrow-Green (The Open University)
2.15 pm Ruth Boreham (author of a forthcoming biography of Mary Somerville) - Mary Somerville
the Polymath: Mathematics, Astronomy and Orange Marmalade
3.05 pm Dr David Broadhurst (The Open University) - Richard Feynman's Talent for Finding Things Out
4 pm TEA/COFFEE BREAK
4.30 pm SUMMARY OF THE DAY'S PROCEEDINGS - Professor Dennis Lehmkuhl (University of Bonn)
There will be a special conference dinner at St Cross College in the evening following the end of the conference with an after-dinner talk by Professor Martin Kemp (University of Oxford) on arguably the greatest polymath of all, Leonardo da Vinci. Booking to attend the conference dinner can be made at: