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Recreation Conference 2022


Recreating Science and Recreational Sciene in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Scientific Recreation / Recreational Science in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Institute of Advanced Studies


This two-day conference, funded by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at UCL, will exploit the ambiguous meaning of the term “recreation” to bring together two important but disparate themes in the current scholarship of medieval and early modern recipe literature: the experimental turn centred the reproduction of scientific, craft, and household recipes, and studies highlighting how the playfulness of scientific activities contributed to contemporary scientific developments. Please see our most up to date programme here.

Incipiunt quedam experimenta que Salamon rex composuit ob amorem et imploracionem cuiusdam excellentissime regine et sunt experimenta nature © British Library Board. British Library, MS Sloane 121, f. 90v

Science is often associated with professionalism and seriousness. It is frequently forgotten that many scholars and non-scholars alike carry out playful science experiments as a form of recreation or entertainment. This was especially true for the late medieval and early modern period, when people from different backgrounds engaged in playful experiments, for example to produce astonishing magic tricks, invisible inks, or unusual hair dyes.

This conference will provide a unique opportunity to bring together scholars and practitioners from different disciplines such as history, chemistry, and physics to discuss the significance of fun and enjoyment in science. Please register on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/317067927707