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The Harriot Lecture

Since 1990, an annual lecture has been held at Oriel College, Oxford. The first 10 Oxford annual lectures were published by Professor Robert Fox, first as a series of pamphlets and subsequently as an edited volume: Thomas Harriot: An Elizabethan man of science, edited by Robert Fox (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000).

In 2012, a second volume of essays was published, which collected the Harriot Lectures given between 2000 and 2009: Thomas Harriot and his world: Mathematics, exploration, and natural philosophy in early modern England, edited by Robert Fox (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012).

Past lecturES

  • 2019: Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (University of Notre Dame): 'Both to love and fear us - how to found an empire in Harriot's day.'
  • 2018: Daniel Carey (NUI, Galway): 'Harriot, Hakluyt and Newfound Virginia.'
  • 2017: Mark Horton (University of Bristol). 'Thomas Harriot, the World’s First Ethnographer?'
  • 2016: Philip Beeley (University of Oxford) 'Our learned countryman : Thomas Harriot and the emergence of mathematical community in seventeenth-century England'
  • 2015: Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London): 'Thomas Harriot in the Twenty-First Century: 25 years of the Harriot Lecture.'
  • 2014: David Reed Sacks (Reed College, Portland, Oregon) 'The True and Certain Discovery of the World: Thomas Harriot and Richard Hakluyt.'
  • 2012: Dr Lesley Cormack (University of Alberta) 'The whole earth, a present for a Prince'. Molyneux’s English globes and the creation of a global vision
  • 2011: Surekha Davies (Birkbeck, University of London) 'Thomas Harriot, John White and the Invention of the Algonquian Indian, 1585-1650'
  • 2010: No lecture
  • 2009: Pascal Brioist (CESR Tours) 'Thomas Harriot and the Mariners’ Culture - On Board a Transatlantic Ship in 1585.'
  • 2008: Mark Nicholls (Cambridge), 'Last Act? 1618 and the Shaping of Sir Walter Ralegh's Reputation'
  • 2007: Stephen Johnston (Oxford), 'Thomas Harriot and the English Experience of Navigation'
  • 2006: Stephen Pumfrey (Lancaster), 'Thomas Harriot and the patronage of English science'
  • 2005: John Henry (Edinburgh), 'Why Harriot was not the English Galileo'
  • 2004: Matthias Schemmel (Berlin), 'The English Galileo. Thomas Harriot and the force of shared knowledge in early modern mechanics'
  • 2003: Ian Maclean (Oxford), 'Thomas Harriot on combinations'
  • 2002: Jacqueline Stedall (Oxford), 'The Greate Invention of Algebra: Thomas Harriot’s Treatise on equations'
  • 2001: Robert Goulding (Princeton), 'Thomas Harriot and Optics'
  • 2000: J. V. Pepper (London, UCL), 'Thomas Harriot and the Great Mathematical Tradition'
  • 1999: Scott Mandelbrote (Oxford), 'The religion of Thomas Harriot'
  • 1998: John J. Roche, 'Harriot, Oxford and twentieth-century historiography'
  • 1997: John D. North (Oxford), 'Stars and atoms'
  • 1996: Muriel Seltman, 'Harriot’s Algebra: reputation and reality'
  • 1995: J. A. Bennett (Oxford), 'Instruments, mathematics and natural knowledge: Thomas Harriot’s place on the map of learning'
  • 1994: Stephen Clucas (London, Birkbeck), 'Thomas Harriot and the field of knowledge in the English Renaissance'
  • 1993: Hilary Gatti (Rome), 'The natural philosophy of Thomas Harriot'
  • 1992: Hugh-Trevor Roper (Oxford), 'Harriot’s Physician: Theodore de Mayerne'
  • 1991: Gordon R. Batho (Durham), 'Thomas Harriot and the Northumberland Household'
  • 1990: David B. Quinn (Liverpool), 'Thomas Harriot and the problem of America'