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Impact of optical technologies developed more than 400 years ago on modern-day science to be explored in professorial lecture

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01 May 2013

The scientific, philosophical and social impact of the microscope and telescope can never be fully appreciated, a Glyndŵr University Professor will argue.

Professor Paul Rees, Professor of Optics: Metrology and Technology, will reveal the legacy of the work of Robert Hooke and Galileo Galilei on modern day science at a talk at Glyndŵr University on Thursday 2 May 2013.

Professor Rees, who leads the team at Optic Glyndŵr in St Asaph on the European Extremely-Large Telescope programme, will discuss whether technologies developed to improve people’s eyesight are the same as those used to develop the first optical scientific instruments: the microscope, around 1590, and the telescope, around 1600.

“Since the time of Galileo and Robert Hooke, advances in our understanding of optics, and our technological application of this understanding, have been at the very heart of a remarkable 400 years of scientific discovery,” said Prof Rees.

“Often the technological advances have been driven by defence and consumer pressures, not scientific need.

“Nevertheless, the effect of this symbiotic relationship between technological development and scientific discovery has been to utterly change our understanding of the world around us. This change shows little sign of slowing down.”

The talk, part of Glyndŵr University’s Inaugural and Professorial Lectures, starts at 7pm in the Catrin Finch Centre at the university’s Wrexham campus.

Lectures in the series are open to all and free to attend. Each lecture is followed by a reception, where attendees have the opportunity to meet the speaker and discuss the topic in more detail.

To book your place, email lectures@glyndwr.ac.uk or call 01978 293466.

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