Humphry Davy: Laughing gas, Literature and the Lamp

Discover Humphry Davy and his contribution to science and the arts.

Start date: 30 October 2017 – 4 weeks

Before culture was divided into the sciences and the arts there was a chemist who was also a poet. Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) is one of the best known men of science of the nineteenth century.  He was the first person to inhale nitrous oxide, he isolated more chemical elements than anyone else has before or since, he invented a miners' safety lamp that became known as the Davy lamp and which was used across Europe and the world.

This course will consider Davy's life and career using manuscript sources held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. We will read Davy's letters, his poetry and even recreate some of his most famous experiments!

Who is the course for?

You don't need any prior knowledge to join this course, which is likely to appeal to people:

  • interested in poetry and/or the history of science and medicine
  • who studied Davy at school (i.e. UK based, 40+ in age)
  • who live in ex-mining communities in Britain or active mining communities around the world
  • local history folk

Register for this course