A Pioneer of Connection

Recovering the Life and Work of Oliver Lodge

This is a thorough, highly readable, and academically sophisticated account of the many facets of the career of Oliver Lodge. It affords a welcome corrective to Lodge’s marginalization, recovering his significance for a number of scientific fields as well as his importance for the development of civic universities and modern intellectual culture more generally.
Gowan Dawson, University of Leicester

Sir Oliver Lodge was an extraordinarily polymathic scientific figure who linked the Victorian Age with the Second World War, a reassuring figure of continuity across his long life and career. A physicist and spiritualist, inventor and educator, author and authority, he was one of the most famous public figures of British science in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A pioneer in the invention of wireless communication and later of radio broadcasting, he was foundational for twentieth-century media technology and a tireless communicator who wrote upon and debated many of the pressing interests of the day in the sciences and far beyond. Yet since his death, Lodge has been marginalized. By uncovering the many aspects of his life and career, and the changing dynamics of scientific authority in an era of specialization, contributors to this volume reveal how figures like Lodge fell out of view as technical experts came to dominate the public understanding of science in the second half of the twentieth century. They account for why he was so greatly cherished by many of his contemporaries, examine the reasons for his eclipse, and consider what Lodge, a century on, might teach us about taking a more integrated approach to key scientific controversies of the day.

336 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

May, 2020

isbn : 9780822945956

about the editors

James Mussell

James Mussell is associate professor in Victorian literature at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Science, Time and Space in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press and The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age.

learn more
James Mussell
Graeme Gooday

Graeme Gooday is professor of the history of science and technology, in the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds. He is the author of The Morals of Measurement: Accuracy, Irony and Trust in Late Victorian Electrical Practice, Domesticating Electricity: Technology, Uncertainty and Gender in Late Nineteenth-Century Culture, 1880-1914, and, with Stathis Arapostathis, Patently Contestable: Electrical Technologies and Inventor Identities on Trial in Britain.

learn more
Graeme Gooday