Earlier this year, a few members of the team decided that rather than just looking after books about the history of science we should actually read some of them. What better way to encourage ourselves to do this than to join a book group? Research identified that there seemed to be a gap in the market (in London at any rate) – we found some groups reading current/popular science books, and others who concentrate on sci fi or lab lit, but no one seemed to focus on history of science (do correct me if I’m wrong though…).

This left us with little alternative but to start a group ourselves, so armed with a date, a venue and even an idea for a book, we created an email flyer and sent it round to a few friends, colleagues and other possibly-interested contacts. This produced a remarkably good response (if success is measurable by the number of fans on our Facebook page, anyway) and at the first meeting we enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion of Richard Holmes’ biographical epic “The Age of Wonder”.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed a fairly eclectic range of titles, including one particularly memorable session in which we were joined by the author of the book under discussion, and he fielded a veritable barrage of questions and comments about his work with aplomb! Meetings have no set agenda, although we usually manage to discuss the books for around an hour. Titles are chosen by the group, and the only rule is that they have to be connected in some way to the history of science.

We’ve currently got space for a few new members, so if this sounds like your kind of thing why not come along and see what you think? We meet at 6.30pm on the last Wednesday of the month, usually at a bar in the Piccadilly area. For more details see our Facebook page, and if you’d like to join our mailing list to receive regular information about the group please email library@royalsociety.org with “subscribe book group” in the subject line. General queries about the group can also be directed to this email account, fao Emma and Jo.

The August meeting will take place on Wednesday 25th, and we’re reading “God’s philosophers: how the Medieval world laid the foundations of modern science” by James Hannam.

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