Can science today learn from thirteenth century literature? In the Durham Ordered Universe project, an interdisciplinary team (physicists, medievalists, Latin scholars and historians of science) has engaged with the great medieval English thinker Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253), and found an extraordinarily subtle mind at work.
Light moves Grosseteste throughout his works; it is a ubiquitous theme. In this lecture, three members of the Durham team present Grosseteste’s treatise on colour, to reveal and explore the three-dimensional colour space through which he thinks. His later treatise on the rainbow revisits this theory of colour generation, but with surprising results from modern perspectives. By using medieval studies and modern colour science, the treatises can be interpreted in new, stimulating and more complete ways, part of an enduring sense of the richness of the encounter between medieval and modern science.
Further information about this event is available on the Royal Society website