© 2017 Roland Jackson

THE ASCENT OF JOHN TYNDALL

John Tyndall (c.1822–1893), Irish physicist, mountaineer, and public intellectual, rose from a humble background to move in the highest reaches of Victorian science and society, and marry into the aristocracy. Tyndall is best known in scientific circles for his research on the absorption of heat by gases in the atmosphere. But among much else, he explained why the sky is blue, how glaciers move, and helped establish the germ theory of disease. Beyond that, he was a pivotal figure in placing science on the cultural and educational map in mid-century, and in negotiating its ever-problematic relationship to religion and theology. His iconoclastic speeches and writings sent shockwaves through society, not least in religious circles. With friends such as Michael Faraday, Thomas Huxley, Charles Darwin, Rudolf Clausius, Hermann Helmholtz, Emil du Bois-Reymond, Thomas Carlyle, and Alfred Tennyson, he was at the heart of nineteenth-century thought.

This is the first general biography of John Tyndall since 1945.

It will be published by OUP on 22 March 2018.

John Tyndall is even on Twitter

Covr picture of 'The Ascent of John Tyndall' by Roland Jackson