Brown Bag Lecture: “The Frog, the Ox, and the Hanged Man: Giovanni Aldini and the Popular Uses of Galvanism in Britain, 1802–1803”

Feb 15, 2011
Chemical Heritage Foundation 315 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

A talk by Iain Watts

This talk, based on work in progress, will examine the Italian experimental philosopher Giovanni Aldini’s experiments and the sensation they created, and also their reappropriation as a cultural object by newspapers and by other experimenters who refashioned them into popular instructive entertainments staged in various venues, from London theaters to Yorkshire pubs. In the process it will touch on what it meant for this particular science to become “popular” circa 1800; on the consequent connection to jokes, spoof, and satire; and on the birth of electrochemistry.

Iain Watts is a graduate student in the history department at Princeton University, working in the areas of history of science and British history in the 18th and 19th centuries. Previously he completed an M.Sc. in history of science from University College London and Imperial College London, and originally trained in natural sciences at the University of Cambridge.

For more information, visit CHF's Web site.

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