Renaissance science

23 February 2015

No Alibis bookshop was the intimate venue for an evening of history, art and science, where Alison Hackett, author and curator of The Visual Time Traveller took her audience on a journey from the Renaissance through to the present day.

Renaissance science
Credit: Northern Ireland Science Festival

She highlighted a range of interesting factlets, such as Bram Stoker writing Dracula while X-rays and aspirin were being discovered, and the first modern Olympics being held in Athens around the time that Cézanne created his seminal modernist painting, The Bathers. She discussed a number of the hundred stories captured in five-year time steps in her recent book giving a kaleidoscopic view of history and human achievement.

Following her talk, Coleraine-born poet and physicist Iggy McGovern, of Trinity College Dublin, discussed the possible connections between poetry and science, with particular reference to the writings of 20th-century Czech immunologist and poet Miroslav Holub, and 19th-century Irish mathematician and poet William Rowan Hamilton. The latter is the subject of McGovern’s verse biography A Mystic Dream of 4.

The event, supported by the Institute of Physics in Ireland, is part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival, which runs from 19 Feb to 1 March.