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Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green
391 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5AA London, United Kingdom
The craze for Spiritualism in the mid to late 19th Century had parallels in developments in the physical sciences at that time. Both were concerned with invisible phenomena and their use for communication. The discovery of radio waves, cathode rays, X-rays and radioactivity caused several leading scientists to postulate that the ether might be a medium bridging the physical and the spirit worlds. Scientists used electromagnetism to investigate séances and speculated about how Christian belief in the afterlife might be consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.
Philip Ball will discuss this interplay between cutting-edge science and concepts of the “spirit world” in the late Victorian and Edwardian age, and its legacy today in ideas about psychic powers manifested in cinema, photography and the internet.
Tickets £12. Each ticket includes one delightful Hendrick’s Gin cocktail and a 20% donation towards a host of restoration projects at Kensal Green Cemetery.
This salon in the cemetery is part of the London Month of the Dead 2017.
Philip Ball is a British science writer. For over twenty years he has been an editor of the journal Nature for which he continues to write regularly. He now writes a regular column in Chemistry World. He has contributed to publications ranging from New Scientist to the New York Times, The Guardian, the Financial Times and New Statesman. He is the regular contributor to Prospect magazine, and also a columnist for Chemistry World, Nature Materials and BBC Future. He has broadcast on many occasions on radio and TV, and in June 2004 he presented a three-part serial on nanotechnology, Small Worlds, on BBC Radio 4.