Wiliam Herschel and Georgian Views on Extraterrestrial Life (Part 3 of 3)

October 1, 2022


Belief in extraterrestrial (ET) life was far from unusual in Georgian Europe. One of its most powerful advocates was William Herschel, who maintained a lifelong interest in the search for evidence of ET life and whose commitment to its existence heavily influenced his wide-ranging research programmes. In this recording of a talk held on October 1st 2022 as part of BRLSI’s William Herschel conference Joshua Nall reviews Herschel’s work to find life on the Sun, Moon, and planets of our solar system, and considers this work’s influence on Georgian culture. Joshua Nall is Curator of Modern Sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the history of the physical sciences in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has curated numerous exhibitions on subjects including ‘The Art and Science of Brewing’, ‘Science and Industry in Cambridge’, and ‘Astronomy and Empire’. His first book, News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860- 1910, won the 2020 History of Science Society’s Philip J. Pauly Prize for the best first book on the history of science in the Americas.

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