Minerva's Laboratory: Laura Bassi and the Pursuit of Science in 18th-century Italy

Porfessor Paula Findlen (Stanford University)
Event date
Event time
18:00 - 19:00
Department of Physics - Online Talk
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required


Professor Paula Findlen, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of History and Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian at Stanford University (USA). A renowned historian of science, she has written many books

About the talk:

In the 18th century, Laura Bassi (1711-78) was one of the most well-known physics professors, and the only woman to occupy this position in the century of Newton. This seminar will discuss Bassi’s life and work in the university, her home laboratory, and the Bologna Academy of Sciences. How did she become the first woman to have a paid scientific career within the institutions of her time? What did it mean to be a woman of science in the 18th century?

Paula Findlen is Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Director of the Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at Stanford University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she received the 2016 Premio Galileo for her contributions to the history of Italian science and culture. She has written on Bassi and her world for many years.

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