Science meets Poetry

July 26, 2016 9:30 - 5:30 pm


Provisional timings are:

09:30 Welcome to Manchester, city of Poetry and Culture : Sam Illingworth (Manchester Metropolitan University). Two distinguished guests from overseas Jean-Charles Dorge (recently elected President of the Société des Poètes Français) and Uli Rothfuss (just re-elected President of the International Society of German language authors – die Kogge) are welcomed. The SPF and die Kogge are co-organisers of the event, together with the European Academy and, of course, EuroScience. Our first poetry event at ESOF was in 2006, just ten years ago.

10:00 The year 2016, a clutch of anniversaries 1616 remembered, 400 years later: a challenge from ESOF 2016 to Scholars of Shakespeare and Cervantès. The author of Hamlet was aware of Tycho Brahe. Did he side with him in favour of Ptolemy, or with Kepler in favour of Copernicus ? When Cervantès wrote of Don Quichotte tilting against windmills, was he referring to medieval chivalry hopelessly opposing the machines of Progress ? Five hundred years since the first edition (in latin) of Thomas Moore’s Utopia in 1516, how do poets still toy with the dream of an ideal society ? Jean-Patrick Connerade (Chaunes) of Imperial College London and the European Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters (under the aegis of UNESCO).

10:30 From the Cotton Mill to the Modern Age followed through English and American poets. Remembering that Manchester is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Presented by Nick Norwood, Poet and Professor of English at Colombus State University (Georgia) whose home in the USA happens to be a converted cotton mill. Readings of some poems from his latest book Eagle and Phoenix.

11.00 Coffee Break. Poems will be on display. 

11:30 Thomas de Quincey, citizen of Manchester, friend of Wordsworth and the Lake poets, who rebelled against soot pollution during the Industrial Revolution and transformed Romantic poetry into the first hints of a ‘green’ movement. de Quincey, the opium-eater, had a strong influence on European poets from Baudelaire to Apollinaire and beyond. Presented by Jean-François Berroyer, poet and translator (into French) of de Quincey and other English-language poets.

12:00 From Fishing to Faraday: The life and times of Sir Humphry Davy. Davy, a poet, chemist and natural philosopher, who invented the Davy lamp, thus saving the lives of many miners, and started research on electricity at the Royal Institution. Presented by Frank James, Historian of Science, Royal Institution.

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 Two German Poets in Great Britain. W.G. Sebald and Michael Hamburger, were close friends and both lived in England, Sebald as a professor of Germanistics in Norwich and Hamburger in Middleton. Both wrote poetry about nature, containing interesting views about science and have remained well-known in Britain and in Germany. With a reading of some English poems by both authors. Uli Rothfuss of die Kogge and the Faber Castell Academy (Nürnberg).

14:30 Science meeting Poetry: a crossing point within Russian culture. On the poetry of some famous Russian scientists. Lomonosov was in fact the first Russian scientist, who practically initiated at the same time the very first Russian poetry. More recently, Sakharov also wrote poetry. Foresight and intuition in Science are inherently subjects of poetry for Alla Mikhalevitch of the St Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars (SPASS).

15:00 Linguaggi di-versi translate some Shakespeare. Linguaggi di-versi are a group of poets from several countries who collaborate to take on the ultimate challenge of translating the seemingly untranslatable (namely: poetry) into many different language. Presented by Anne Talvaz and her fellow-poets of the Linguaggi di-versi international association.

15:30 In praise of Graphene. A contribution from Assumpció Forcada, poet and scientist from Spain whose songs and poems about science in Catalan and in Spanish, with English translations are well-known to ESOF participants.

16:00 Break for more poems (poster session)

16:30 Towards Toulouse. ESOF 2018 will be held in the city of Toulouse, and the Société des Poètes Français will be at the centre of the Science meets Poetry event. Jean-Charles Dorge extends a special welcome to the poets (Chaunes will jump in and provide an on-the-spot translation if and when needed).

17:00 Contemporary poets and scientists get together. How poets from Manchester have been ‘twinned’ with scientists from the ESOF programme and what poems have emerged. A presentation by Sam Illingworth (Manchester Metropolitan University).

17:30 Why is EuroScience so attached to the ‘Science meets Poetry’ tradition? Some words by Raymond Seltz on the role of EuroScience in supporting the Science meets Poetry event.

18:00 Close (Chaunes)

In the evening there will be a performance of the collaborative pieces constructed between Manchester-based poets and the ESOF scientists that they have been paired with. As for previous Science meets Poetry events, a book of Proceedings containing the lectures, poems and brief biographies of the contributors will be published subsequently by EuroScience in Strasbourg, under the title Science meets Poetry 5, available for sale on the Amazon website.

Please note these timings may be subject to change. 

the speakers

There is no speaker associated to this event

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