Rationality and Magic in Eighteenth-Century Science
Ben Russell, Curator of Mechanical Engineering at the Science Museum, considers the ‘Impossible’ in the Age of Reason … unimaginable new technologies, mind-blowing scientific discoveries and revolutionary new ideas. Challenging everything that had gone before, these advancements brought into sharp focus the tensions between imagination and wonder, rationality and reason. In doing so, they provoked controversy, and pushed the boundaries of what Georgian Britain was prepared to believe in.
Part of the 2018 Festival of Ideas: Imagining the Impossible
Ben Russell is Curator of Mechanical Engineering. He has curated five major permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions at the museum, including Robots (2017) and James Watt’s Workshop (2011), as well as Cosmonauts (2015). Watt’s Workshop led on to his book, James Watt: Making the World Anew, (Reaktion Books, 2014). Most recently, Ben edited Robots (Scala, 2017).