And first, the fair PARABOLA behold, Her timid arms with virgin blush unfold!...
Mathematical poetry may seem an unlikely form of satire, but 'The Loves of the Triangles' (1798) was not only a clever parody of Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather) but also a powerful political commentary expressing contemporary fears of revolution and evolution.
This lecture was jointly held with the British Society for the History of Mathematics.
For the other BHSM lectures, follows these links:
19th Century Mathematical Physics, by Professor Raymond Flood, Dr Julia Collins
and Dr Mark McCartney
The Memoirs and Legacy of Évariste Galois, by Dr Peter Neumann
Mathematics, Motion and Truth, by Professor Jeremy Gray
Mathematics and the Medici, by Jim Bennett
Planes and Pacifism, by Dr June Barrow-Green
From World Brain to the World Wide Web, by Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly
History from Below, by Dr Stephen Johnston
The Celestial Geometry of John Flamsteed, by Dr Allan Chapman
Mathematics in the Metropolis, by Adrian Rice
Patricia has a degree in physics from Oxford and a PhD in History of Science from London. Based at Cambridge University since 1993, she is an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College and was President of the British Society for the History of Science from 2016-18.
Her major research topics are eighteenth-century England and scientific portraits, but she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science. Her most recent is A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War (2018) but others include the prize winning Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009), Newton: The Making of a Genius (2002) and Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004).
In addition to featuring in TV and radio programmes such as In Our Time, she regularly writes reviews and articles for publications such as Nature, The Times Literary Supplement, The Lancet and History Today.
She is currently working on a book about Isaac Newton's final three decades in London, when he became Master of the Mint and President of the Royal Society.