NEWS
2000/2001
Issue No 10

2000 SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMME

Public Lecture - 1 December

Logarithms and Black Magic in Renaiassance Scotland: Remembering John Napier (1550-1617)

Speaker: John Fauvel (Open University)

This public lecture was organised jointly with the Mathematics Department of Napier University as part of the year’s activities celebrating the 450th anniversary of Napier’s birth.

John Fauvel delivered an entertaining talk to a capacity audience at Merchiston Campus. John Napier is best known now for his invention of logarithms, but he also worked to ease the burden of calculations in other ways, as well as proving the Pope to be the Antichrist and gaining a reputation for black magic. This talk focused on his contributions to calculational science, in the context of the Scotland of his time, and on how his work has been perceived since.

The talk was followed by a reception in Merchiston Tower (Napier’s birthplace).

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