Brown Bag Lecture: “Humphry Davy: The Experimental Self”

Brown Bag Lecture icon
Date: September 25, 2012
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by Jan Golinski

Humphry Davy (1778–1829) was a chemist, a philosopher, and a poet in an age before the designation “professional scientist” existed. He invented his own identity in the course of a brilliant career in early-19th-century England, making his reputation as a genius of science through his performances as a chemical lecturer and discoverer. Alongside his public identity Davy also engaged in intense exploration of his private subjectivity through self-experimentation and literary work. Golinski’s research focuses on how Davy fashioned himself, both as a social being and as an individual consciousness.

Jan Golinski is a professor at the University of New Hampshire, where he served until recently as chair of the Department of History. He is the author of Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760–1820 (Cambridge, 1992), Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science (Chicago, 2005), and British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment (Chicago, 2007). During the fall of 2012 he is the Gordon Cain Distinguished Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

For more information, please call 215.873.8289 or e-mail

Register for an event link

Need Meeting Space?

CHF’s state-of-the-art conference center is in Philadelphia’s beautiful historic district.

Brown Bag Lecture Series

Enjoy a bring-your-own brown-bag lunch while listening to CHF scholars share their research.

Fellowships at CHF

CHF’s scholars, who spend anywhere from one to nine months in residence, form a vital part of CHF’s intellectual life.

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible tax-deductible gift online.