This coming Thursday, 6th August, Giles will be talking about the Ordered Universe project. He will introduce Grosseteste and medieval science and the extended collaborations within the project over its now 11-year span. Inspired by the 13th-century past, the project has grown considerably since its beginnings bringing together modern scientists and medieval specialists from a whole range of universities and other centres of learning from across the globe.
Nevertheless, it remains focused on its task – to elucidate Grosseteste’s writing with all disciplinary tools at our disposal. This is no inward and narrow task, though detail and precision are important. Rather it opens up:
1) the huge scope of medieval ideas about the natural world – inheritances from the Ancient World, connections, indirect and direct, across Eurasia, and the radical shift that new knowledge from these sources gave to European thinkers.
2) the transformative possibilities of working across disciplines, especially within humanities and natural sciences. For humanities, Grosseteste is better understood with a fuller understanding of the historical context, of the reception of Aristotle, of the philological information brought up by manuscript study. And taking a wider disciplinary range, embracing modern science does the same thing, albeit in a different way. The phenomena that Grosseteste explored are still the subject of inquiry. Setting modern understanding of the same phenomenon alongside that of the past serves to sharpen both. Far from making Grosseteste a thinker ‘ahead of his time’ or berating the past for its ignorance, this approach allows for a fresh and different perspective.
3) new science – one of the most surprising things from the project has been its capacity, through close collaborative and interdisciplinary reading to generate new science, inspired by the past.
Information for joining the event is in the link below: