Boston College – Knowing and Speaking

Yesterday, Sigbjørn and Giles were hosted by the Theology and Philosophy Departments at Boston College, for a seminar on Ordered Universe, its methods, principal findings and ethos. We outlined the historical issues in encountering Grosseteste, the difficulties in tracing his steps, which affect in turn the context that can be given, or is assumed, for his earlier works. After that we ran through On the Liberal ArtsOn the Generation of SoundsOn the Sphere, On the Six DifferentiaeOn Comets, On Light and On the Rainbow, to give a full conspectus of Ordered Universe activities. At each step we evoked the conclusions of Continue reading

Knowing through Speaking – Boston College

Next week, Sigbjørn Sønnesyn and Giles Gasper will be talking about the Ordered Universe at Boston College, USA, Thursday 25th October, starting at 7.00 pm. They will be speaking on ‘Knowing through Speaking: Collaborative Learning through Interdisciplinary Research on Medieval Science.’

Bringing together a unique configuration of natural scientists, social scientists and arts and humanities scholars, the Ordered Universe Project integrates the conceptual tools of modern science with the textual methods of the humanities to explore the richness of Grosseteste’s thought. Each team member, from whatever discipline, contributes to editions, translations, analyses and presentations. In so doing, we are pioneering new ways of working across and between our disciplines. Trusting one another, and learning to learn from the past have presented creative demands. We have challenged academic and public preconceptions regarding the value of past science as ‘irrelevant’. To the contrary: the team has published new science (on rainbows, colour and cosmology) inspired by engaging with another thinker from eight centuries ago. The centre and heart of the project are our collaborative reading workshops: we all sit down together, and, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, grapple with and unlock the amazing world which Grosseteste opens up.

We’re delighted to be at Boston College, and very grateful indeed to Professors Eileen Sweeney and Boyd Coolman for arranging for this to happen. To speak to diverse audiences, to engage with their views and reactions is extremely important to the project. Boston, here we come!

Kalamazoo Sessions 1: How to think about science…including liturgy

IMG_2327IMG_2314Kalamazoo, a medium sized mid-western city, the original home of Gibson guitars (established here in 1902), famous for a book-keeping system, the subject of a Glenn Miller song, home of an increasing number of excellent microbreweries, and the place to which over 3000 medievalists return each year for the International Medieval Congress. The rooms on campus may be rudimentary, but the company more than compensates. Amongst the hundreds of sessions, were science-orientated ones… Continue reading

Journey to Kalamazoo

So, I’m in the History Department, not the Geography Department, and it didn’t seem all that far to get from Boston to Kalamazoo, and, the Durham IMEMS contingent has often travelled from Toronto to Kalamazoo which involves an interesting stay at the Port Huron/Sarnia Screenshot 2014-06-13 13.58.41crossing between Canada and the US. Travelling only in the US would bring the total travelling time down, surely, even if, on checking, the milage was a slightly eye-watering 900 miles. Continue reading