Talk : Andrea Wulf, "Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens"
In the eighteenth century the transit held the answer for one of the most pressing questions of the age: the size of the solar system. Hundreds of astronomers from European countries and the North American colonies were dispatched across the world to observe the rare celestial encounter. At a time when war was tearing Europe and much of the rest of the world apart, they overcame political, geographical and intellectual boundaries. Chasing Venus features Catherine the Great, Captain Cook, Benjamin Franklin, David Rittenhouse, and other important personalities from the eighteenth century. Andrea Wulf tells the extraordinary story of the first global scientific collaboration set amid warring armies, hurricanes, scientific endeavour and personal tragedy.
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Andrea Wulf is a past Fellow of the Robert H Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and an independent writer. Trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art, she is also the author of The Brother Gardeners, winner of the American Horticultural Society 2010 Book Award and the CBHL Annual Literature Award, and of Founding Gardeners. She has written for The Sunday Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times