The National Maritime Museum and the Royal Society present, "Science and the Maritime Nation: 350 years of the Royal Society and the Royal Navy." This 9-week series of lectures considers the intimate relationship between the Society and the Royal Navy over more than three centuries. The second instalment in the 9-week series takes place here at the Royal Society and is free to attend.
Dr David Davies (Author and Historian) and Professor Rob Iliffe (University of Sussex) will discuss the early Royal Society's interest in naval matters.
Pepys and the Scientific Navy - Dr David Davies (author and historian)
Samuel Pepys served as one of the Crown’s most senior naval administrators, 1660-1679, 1684-89. This was a period importance in the histories of science and the Navy, and the two histories were intertwined. Pepys himself was interested in science and sought to enhance the scientific basis of navigation by setting up a ‘mathematical school’ in Christ’s Hospital in 1673. He ultimately served as President of the Royal Society for two years.
This lecture will explore Pepy's role in the development of a 'scientific navy', putting it into the context of the work of the Royal Society and the efforts of his contemporaries.
The Royal Society, Navigation and the Problem of Longitude, 1660-1730 - Professor Rob Iliffe (University of Sussex)
For over a century after its founding in 1660, the Royal Society was involved in solutions to the longitude problem. It also played a central role in the creation of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in 1675 and inframing the Navigation Act, 1714.
The Society's view on the longitude solution was influenced by Sir Isaac Newton, its President, who argued that the 'lunar method' was more promising than time-pieces in finding longitude. However, key Society members such as George Graham and Edmond Halley were crucial supporters of John Harrison when he started his quest to build a chronometer in the late 1720s.
Please book your place at the lecture with the National Maritime Museum by calling their bookings office on 020 8312 6608. The Bookings office is open 10.00-16.00.
You can also book for the entire series of lectures. Please see the National Maritime Museum's website for more information about the other lectures in the series. (These will all be held at the National Maritime Museum.)