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Omniscience Speaker Series

The Omniscience Speaker Series is for all those with a passion for science and discovery, including Tonbridge School students and staff. In these regular online talks, experts from around the world share their knowledge of the exciting and innovative fields that they work in. It is free to attend, all are welcome, and a number of speakers are already booked in for the academic year 2021-2022.


Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton’s London career

For the last thirty years of his life, Isaac Newton lived in London and ran the Royal Mint as well as the Royal Society. Formerly a reclusive scholar at Cambridge, now he moved in aristocratic circles, exerted political influence and became very rich. Through exploring a painting by William Hogarth that is packed with Newtonian references, I describe aspects of Newton’s life and fame that usually receive little attention. Taking the picture as my cue, I reintegrate him into a metropolitan world where men and women benefited from global trading based on slavery.


Dr Patricia Fara is an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, where she was Senior Tutor for ten years. She originally read physics at Oxford, but is now in the History and Philosophy of Science department and was President of the British Society for the History of Science from 2016 to 2018. She is currently President of the Antiquarian Horological Society. As well as academic lecturing and supervising, she writes popular books and articles, and is a regular contributor to In our Time and other radio/TV programmes. She is especially interested in the Enlightenment period, with a particular emphasis on scientific imagery and women in science, both past and present. Her prize-winning Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009) has been translated into nine languages, while her most recent publication is Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton’s London Career (2021). Her other highly acclaimed books include A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in The First World War (2018), Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004), Sex, Botany and Empire: The Stories of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks (2003), and An Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment (2002).

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