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Franco-British Themes in Science and Instrumentation

Spring, 1997

THE Museum has joined with the Maison Française in Oxford to arrange a one-day meeting on ‘Franco-British Themes in Science and Instrumentation since 1800’.

The meeting will bring together speakers from France and Britain, including three from the Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie, Paris. Addressing specific research topics will be Christine Blondel on electrical instruments in nineteenth-century France and Soraya Boudia on instruments relating to radioactivity. These will be complemented by a paper offering a more general and comparative view, from Paolo Brenni on national styles in the French and British instrument-making industries in the nineteenth century.

The director of the Musée des arts et métiers in Paris, Dominique Ferriot, will brief the meeting on the current developments in France’s most important collection of historic scientific instruments and will be looking forward to its future use and development.

Jeff Hughes from the University of Manchester will speak on instruments in nuclear physics in the 1920s and 1930s, while local offerings on French themes will come from Stephen Johnston on the arithmometer and Jim Bennett on the great refracting telescope – the largest in the world – installed as part of the international exhibition held in Paris in 1900.

A special session will also take place consisting of shorter contributions from students on the Museum’s M. Sc. course, again that deal with French topics in the history of instrumentation.

The meeting will be held on Thursday the 13th March in the Maison Française, Norham Road, Oxford, from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Anyone with an interest in any aspects of the programme is welcome to attend.