Roland Jackson

Roland Jackson works on the policy, history, and ethics of science and technology. He was previously head of the Science Museum, London, and chief executive of the British Science Association.

The Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 10

The Correspondence, January 1867–December 1868

The tenth volume of The Correspondence of John Tyndall spans from January 1867 to December 1868. It begins with Tyndall publicly enmeshed in a controversy that revealed his views on race, politics, and justifiable violence. Further pressure is exerted on him personally by the death of his mother Sarah, and the numerous calls on him to support relatives in Ireland. Michael Faraday’s death in August 1867 adds to these demands, as Tyndall assumes Faraday’s responsibilities at the Royal Institution. In this period, Tyndall writes his popular book Sound, as well as Faraday as a Discoverer, his memorial to Faraday.

Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 7, The

The Correspondence, March 1859-May 1862

The 308 letters in this volume cover a critical period in Tyndall’s personal and scientific lives. The volume begins with the difficult ending of his relationship with the Drummond family, disputes about his work in glaciology, and his early seminal work on the absorption of radiant heat by gases. It ends with the start of his championship of Julius Robert Mayer’s work on the mechanical equivalent of heat. In between, Tyndall carefully establishes his own priority for his work on radiant heat, and he accepts the position of professor of physics at the Government School of Mines. The lure of the Alps also becomes ever stronger. In this period comes perhaps Tyndall’s greatest mountaineering achievement, the first ascent of the Weisshorn, and a remarkable winter visit to Chamonix and the Mer de Glace. As his reputation grows, Tyndall continues to make his way in society. He is elected to the elite Athenaeum Club on January 31, 1860.