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Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London

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Date and time
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Lisa Jardine draws a portrait of the gifted but cranky English scientist Robert Hooke, known to history as much for losing quarrels with more prominent scientists as for his achievements. He was one of the founding fathers of the Royal Society and teamed with Christopher Wren in rebuilding London after the Great Fire of 1666. Hooke is perhaps best, and certainly unjustly, remembered for losing to Newton in a challenge for credit as discoverer of the inverse-square law of gravitational attraction.

Lisa Jardine CBE is Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of St Andrews, Sheffield Hallam University and the Open University. She is a Trustee of the V&A Museum, a member of the Council of the Royal Institution, and sits on the Library Committee of the Royal Society. In April 2008 she took up the post of Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Professor Jardine writes and reviews for all the major UK national newspapers and magazines and for *the Washington Post*, and has presented and appears regularly on arts, history and current affairs programs for TV and radio. She is a regular writer and presenter of *A Point of View*, on BBC Radio 4: a book of the first two series of her talks was published by Preface Publishing in March 2008 and a second *Another Point of View* will appear in 2009. Lisa Jardine has published over fifty scholarly articles in refereed journals and books, and seventeen full-length books, both for an academic and for a general readership, a number of them in co-authorship with others. She is the author of a number of best-selling general books, including *Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance*, *Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution*, and biographies of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Her most recent book on Anglo-Dutch reciprocal influence in the seventeenth century, entitled *Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory*, was published by HarperCollins in April 2008.