The next scientific breakthrough could come from the history books

Giles Gasper, Durham University; Hannah Smithson, University of Oxford, and Tom McLeish, Durham University

The idea that science isn’t a process of constant progress might make some modern scientists feel a bit twitchy. Surely we know more now than we did 100 years ago? We’ve sequenced the genome, explored space and considerably lengthened the average human lifespan. We’ve invented aircraft, computers and nuclear energy. We’ve developed theories of relativity and quantum mechanics to explain how the universe works. The Conversation Continue reading

Listening Between the Lines


The Ordered Universe project has a new publication. Giles, Tom and Hannah wrote a reflective piece on the project, exploring the interdisciplinary nature of its aims and practice, and how the collaborative reading  (and writing) work in practice. The article is now published, in Palgrave Communications, and, as open access, can be read or freely Continue reading

New Publication: Grosseteste and Religious and Scientific Learning

Robert Grosseteste and the pursuit of Religious and Scientific learning in the Middle-Ages. (Springer 2016) Eds. Jack P. Cunningham & M. Hocknull. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-33468, ISBN 978-3-319-33466-0. No. of pages 401. No. of illustrations 16 colour. £86.00.

July 2016 will see the publication of the proceedings of the 3rd international Robert Grosseteste Conference which took place in Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln in July Continue reading

Solomon Ibn Gabriol: New Volume Proposed

News of a planned volume of essays on Solomon Ibn Gabriol (1021/2 -1050/70), a Jewish poet and philosopher from Muslim Iberia. Known to the Latin West as Avicenbron, and especially for his treatise the Fons vitae translated into Latin by ibn Daud and Dominicus Gundissalinus. The treatise was of some influence on Grosseteste, notably in the De luce. Nicola Polloni, Marienza Benedetto and Lucas Oro are the guiding force behind the volume. The call for papers is as follows: Continue reading

Interdisciplinary Lessons

Lessons for Interdisciplinary Working from Medieval Science is a short piece reflecting on some of the interdisciplinary practice we have developed within the Ordered Universe project by Tom McLeish and Giles Gasper. We’ve drawn together some of the lessons that we have learnt, and some that we hope might be of use to others in similar contexts. Continue reading

AHRC 10th Anniversary: Ordered Universe and Science in Culture

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 09.10.39The Arts and Humanities Research Council has produced a fascinating brochure on some of the projects it has funded over the course of the last decade, now available in an online version. The Ordered Universe features as one of the projects, under the Science in Culture theme, on pages 83-84 (if you want to take a look!). Continue reading

Book Launch: Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral

A notice of a special event for Philippa Hoskin and the Lincoln Record Society:

On Friday 11th Sept. 2015 the Lincoln Record Society will be launching their much anticipated, Robert Grosseteste as Bishop of Lincoln: The Episcopal Rolls 1235-1253. Ed. Philippa M. Hoskin, Pub. Boydell & Brewer. The event is free (including parking) and light refreshment will be available. The event will take place in the Hardy Building, Seminar Room 1 (next to main Reception) at 4.00pm. Continue reading

Ordered Universe Presents…

IMG_559220140923_091840Ordered Universe presents the two, joint, public lectures from earlier this year at the Mahfouz Forum for Interdisciplinary Studies, Pembroke College, Oxford. After a lovely introduction from the Master, Dame Lynne Brindley, we gave two linked presentations. The first, involving Tom, Giles and Richard, ‘Forming the Body of the Cosmos: Robert Grosseteste’s ‘On Light’ focused on the team’s discussion of that treatise, its background and the challenges in rendering the making of the medieval universe. Continue reading

Grosseteste at the 1st International Conference on the History of Physics

image003Trinity_College_Cambridge_1690Last week in Cambridge, the cosmological model of Robert Grosseteste, based on a fundamental coupling of light and matter, was presented as a poster at the 1st International Conference on the History of Physics, organized by the Institute of Physics at Cambridge, Sept 4-5th, 2014. As the main focus of the conference was “Electromagnetism: the Road to Power”, most of the papers were concerned with the history of the development of physics in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, there were a few papers in the poster session concerned with earlier work and the Ordered Universe poster attracted detailed attention from a number of discerning delegates. Brian Tanner, who presented the poster, was surprised to find that all the reprints that he had taken had been picked up. One delegate was even sufficiently interested to read our papers overnight… Continue reading