Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds From Cornwall, the land of tin, legend, and Poldark, came Humphry Davy, boy genius who rose the ranks to become president of the Royal Society. So Humphry Davy remains one of Britain’s best known men of science as the 19th century. And he made his name and reputation here at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, in Albemarle Street in London. This free online course, Humphry Davy Laughing Gas, Literature and the Lamp is filmed here and is a special collaboration between Lancaster University and the Royal Institution where Davy lectured in this very lecture theatre between 1801 and 1812. Davy was the first person to inhale nitrous oxide, more commonly known now as laughing gas, when people thought it was fatal to do so.
Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds He isolated, more chemical elements than anyone has before or since. And most famously, he invented a miners safety lamp that became known as the Davy lamp. But not many people know the he also wrote poetry throughout his life.
Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds On this course, we’ll be asking questions about the possible connections between science and poetry using Davy’s life and career as an example of a man of science who was also a poet. We’ll look at the role of science in society then and now, and consider moments when politics and science collided. This course is for anyone interested in poetry or the history of science and the connections between them. If you haven’t had of Davy before, we’ll introduce you to a fascinating figure from the 19th century. And if you have heard of Davy before, we’ll tell you about a side of him that you may not already know.