Posted by: Valentino Radman | November 10, 2011

Rudjer Bošković exhibition opens at Royal Society in London

A new exhibition at the Royal Society’s Centre for History of Science explores the life and times of celebrated Croatian polymath Rudjer Bošković (1711 – 1787) on the 300th anniversary of his birth and 250th anniversary of his election to the Royal Society. The exhibition also shows his influence on later British scientists including Joseph Priestley, Humphry Davy and J J Thomson.

Rudjer Bošković was born in Dubrovnik in May 1711 and worked for much of his life in Rome. Amongst his other achievements he developed his own theory of forces, proposed static solutions for the reparation of the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome when cracks threatened its stability, and founded the famous Brera Observatory in Milan.

He visited the Royal Society while in London on a diplomatic mission in 1760, and was immediately elected a Fellow of the Society. Bošković was entertained by the leading scientists of the day including the astronomer Nevil Maskelyne, and James Stuart, with whom he had worked on a cartographic expedition in the Papal States. Despite having only a short stay in London he continued to correspond with the Society, and to present his publications in physics and astronomy to the Society’s library. The exhibition will feature rare and unique volumes from the library of the Royal Society, including a first edition of Newton’s Optice, Bošković’s presentation copies of his own works, and a copy of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin’s Baltimore Lectures from his own library with annotations and additions.

The exhibition opens on 23 November in London and it will run until 15 February 2012.

(Source: Croatian Times)

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