The BSHM-Gresham College Lectures

The BSHM-Gresham College Lectures

Since 2000 the BSHM has co-organised a prestigious annual lecture with Gresham College, London. Previous BSHM-Gresham College Lecturers include many distinguished historians of mathematics; the full list is given below. The BSHM-Gresham Lecture is traditionally preceded by a reception at which Rhenish wine and macaroons are served, in honour of the refreshments served to the Royal Society on its return to Gresham College in 1673 after the disruption of the Great Fire of London.

Since 2012, the BSHM-Gresham Lecture has been preceded by an afternoon of talks on a wider theme relating to the main lecture.

A list of talks, many with recordings and transcripts, can be found on the Gresham website.

  • 18 October 2000: Robin Wilson (Open University) The Gresham Professors of Geometry
  • 31 October 2001: Jackie Stedall (Oxford University) The incommunicable Doctor Pell
  • 24 September 2002: Karen Parshall (University of Virginia, USA) A Jew in Victorian England: The mathematician James Joseph Sylvester (1814–1897)
  • 19 January 2004: Adrian Rice (Randolph-Macon College, Virginia, USA) Mathematics in the Metropolis: A survey of Victorian London
  • 10 February 2005: Allan Chapman (Oxford University) The celestial geometry of John Flamsteed: Mapping the heavens from 17th-century Greenwich
  • 3 November 2005: Stephen Johnston (Museum for the History of Science, Oxford) History from below: Mathematics, instruments and archaeology
  • 9 November 2006: Martin Campbell-Kelly (University of Warwick) From World Brain to World Wide Web
  • 15 November 2007: June Barrow-Green (Open University) Planes and pacifism: Activities and attitudes of British mathematicians during WW1
  • 27 November 2008, Jim Bennett (Museum for the History of Science, Oxford) Mathematics and the Medici: Instruments from late Renaissance Florence and a British connection
  • 2 November 2009: Jeremy Gray (Open University) Mathematics, motion and truth: The earth goes round the sun
  • 4 November 2010: Patricia Fara (Cambridge University) Triangular relationships
  • 3 November 2011: Peter Neumann (Oxford University) The memoirs and legacy of Évariste Galois
  • 31 October 2012: Raymond Flood (Oxford University) James Clerk Maxwell [Part of an afternoon of lectures on ‘19th-century Mathematical Physics’]
  • 31 October 2013: Doron Swade (University of London) A grand narrative of the history of computing [Part of an afternoon of lectures on ‘A History of Computing in Three Parts’]
  • 30 October 2014: Eileen Magnello (University College London) Karl Pearson's Gresham Lectures on Geometry (1890–1894) [Part of an afternoon of lectures on ‘The History of Statistics’]
  • 29 October 2015: Ursula Martin (University of Oxford) The Scientific Life of Ada Lovelace [Part of an afternoon of lectures on 'Women in Mathematics: the Bicentennary of Ada Lovelace']
  • 27 October 2016: Jan van Maanen (Utrecht University) Leibniz (1646-1716) and the Curve of Quickest Descent [Part of an afternoon of lectures on 'Curves in Honour of Leibniz's Tercentenary']
  • 25 October 2017: Robin Wilson (Oxford University) Pi and e: the Most Beautiful Theorem in Mathematics [Part of an afternoon of lectures on 'Mathematical constants and their beautiful relationships]
  • 24 October 2018: David Aubin (Sorbonne Université) Science Leaders under Fire: Stories about Mathematicians Killed in World War I [Part of an afternoon of lectures on 'Mathematics in War and Peace']
  • 23 October 2019: Ana Simões (University of Lisbon) A Global History of the Eclipse of 29 May 1919