Stephen Hawkings, Great Physicist, Charles Babbage, Great Mathematician

No apologies, Intriguing History is going to spend a few days being indulgent on the subject of  the history of science.

The reason is, Stephen Hawkings is struggling to communicate at the age of 70, whilst suffering from motor neurone disease, all that he loves about physics and the universe and why we are here.

So this week is a celebration of ‘thinkers’, in the field of science.

Tonight ‘s star turn is Charles Babbage 1791 – 1871

    • Charles Babbage was a real thinker, shaker mover of his day.
    • We know him for the invention of the ‘first calculating machine’ of his day but he was so much more.
    • He was a brilliant mathematician, young and full of arrogance, he was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge and a close friend of William Herschel’s son John.
    • He was a thorn in the side of the Royal Society, as all young people he felt they were not moving with the times and certainly encumbered by the ‘London Vision’ and therefore unwilling to  the remarkable work of northern industrial folk, people such as Dalton or for that matter Faraday.


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Babbage was at the forefront of the British Association of the Advancement of Science and was hugely influenced by the Romantic Science movement, in particular by people such as Joseph Banks and Humphrey Davy.

Find out more about Babbage, his works and life

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