The Science of Shakespeare-FR

Event Date(s):
April 12, 2014
01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Event Details:

Author., broadcaster, and science journalist Dan Falk will be visiting Fredericton and speaking about some of the most intriguing themes from his forthcoming book, The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe.

The event will take place on April 12 at 1 p.m. at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in MacLaggan Hall (33 Dineen Drive); it is hosted by the New Brunswick Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (NBRASC) as well as UNB’s English and Physics Departments.

William Shakespeare lived at a remarkable time — a period we now recognize as the first phase of the Scientific Revolution. New ideas were transforming Western thought, the medieval was giving way to the modern, and the work of a few key figures hinted at the brave new world to come: the methodical and rational Galileo, the skeptical Montaigne, and — as Falk convincingly argues — Shakespeare, who observed human nature just as intently as the astronomers who studied the night sky.

In The Science of Shakespeare, we meet a colourful cast of Renaissance thinkers, including Thomas Digges, who published the first English account of the “new astronomy” and lived in the same neighborhood as Shakespeare; Thomas Harriot — “England’s Galileo” — who aimed a telescope at the night sky months ahead of his Italian counterpart; and Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose observatory-castle stood within sight of Elsinore (chosen by Shakespeare as the setting for Hamlet) and had a family crest which included the names “Rosencrans” and “Guildensteren.” And then there is Galileo himself. As Falk shows, his telescopic observations may have influenced one of Shakespeare’s final works.

Dan Falk explores the connections between the famous playwright and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution — and how, together, they changed the world forever. Readers of Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World, Dava Sobel's Galileo's Daughter, and Peter Galison's Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps will be drawn to this remarkable synthesis of history, science, art, and literature.

DAN FALK is a science journalist, author, and broadcaster. His books include In Search of Time: Journeys along a Curious Dimension and Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything, winner of the 2002 Science in Society Journalism Award. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, The Walrus, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist; he has also been a regular contributor to the CBC Radio’s Ideas. Falk recently completed a prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT, where he undertook much of the research for this book.

Building: MacLaggan Hall


Kelsey Seymour
1 506 458 7969