The Spirit of Inquiry

About the Author: Susannah Gibson

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  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages
  • The Spirit of Inquiry
  • Susannah Gibson
  • 17 March 2018
  • 0198833377

The Spirit of Inquiry Cambridge Is Now World Famous As A Centre Of Science, But It Wasn T Always So Before The Nineteenth Century, The Sciences Were Of Little Importance In The University Of Cambridge But That Began To Change In 1819 When Two Young Cambridge Fellows Took A Geological Fieldtrip To The Isle Of Wight Adam Sedgwick And John Stevens Henslow Spent Their Days There Exploring, Unearthing Dazzling Fossils, Dreaming Up Elaborate Theories About The Formation Of The Earth, And Bemoaning The Lack Of Serious Science In Their Ancient University As They Threw Themselves Into The Exciting New Science Of Geology Conjuring Millions Of Years Of History From The Evidence They Found In The Island S Rocks They Also Began To Dream Of A New Scientific Society For Cambridge This Society Would Bring Together Like Minded Young Men Who Wished To Learn Of The Latest Science From Overseas, And Would Encourage Original Research In Cambridge It Would Be, They Wrote, A Society To Keep Alive The Spirit Of Inquiry Their Vision Was Realised When They Founded The Cambridge Philosophical Society Later That Same Year Its Founders Could Not Have Imagined The Impact The Cambridge Philosophical Society Would Have It Was Responsible For The First Publication Of Charles Darwin S Scientific Writings, And Hosted Some Of The Most Heated Debates About Evolutionary Theory In The Nineteenth Century It Saw The First Announcement Of X Ray Diffraction By A Young Lawrence Bragg A Technique That Would Revolutionise The Physical, Chemical And Life Sciences It Published The First Paper By C.T.R Wilson On His Cloud Chamber A Device That Opened Up A Previously Unimaginable World Of Sub Atomic Particles 200 Years On From The Society S Foundation, This Book Reflects On The Achievements Of Sedgwick, Henslow, Their Peers, And Their Successors Susannah Gibson Explains How Cambridge Moved From What Sedgwick Saw As A Death Like Stagnation Really Little Than A Provincial Training School For Church Of England Clergy To Being A World Leader In The Sciences And She Shows How Science, Once A Peripheral Activity Undertaken For Interest By A Small Number Of Wealthy Gentlemen, Has Transformed Into An Enormously Well Funded Activity That Can Affect Every Aspect Of Our Lives.

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