Thursday, June 20, 2013

What is a polymath? The Robert Boyle Summer School 2013

A polymath is sometimes referred to as a ‘Renaissance Man’, a person who is expert in numerous subject areas or someone who is very knowledgeable about a wide range of things. The concept of a polymath was first applied to the great thinkers of the renaissance period such as Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo and Galileo and was later used to describe great thinkers such as Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and Aristotle.

According to Professor Jim Malone of the Robert Boyle Foundation, Robert Boyle is a fine example of a ‘Polymath’. Professor Malone will open the Robert Boyle Summer School 2013 on Thursday 4th July, 7.00pm  with a lecture – ‘Robert Boyle, getting to know the man from Lismore: genius, polymath and eccentric’.

This lecture will recount the main events of Robert Boyle’s life, describing some of his scientific work, not just in chemistry and physics but in many other fields including medicine, philosophy and theology. These will be placed in the context of his personality and lifestyle as described by his friends and acquaintances. What emerges is an exceptional religious, courteous and humane man whose contributions to science were ‘game changing’ to say the least.

The Summer School will feature  world-leading scientists and historians gathering together to discuss a wide range of topics relating to Boyle, including Dr Anna-Marie Roos of the University of Lincoln,  Professor Bill Eaton of Georgia Southern University and Dr. Peter Elmer of the University of Exeter. We are very excited to announce the return to Lismore of Oxford University Dr. Allan Chapman who intrigued audiences in 2011 with his inimitable lecture style and warm charm.

For booking or for further information please contact Eleanor at 058 54975, email or see

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