|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Friday, December 04, 2009
You can now hear it on the BBC iPlayer, and it's worth a listen. Prof Meiksin is a joy to listen to. As for me, well ... I sound a lot more coherent and fluent than I sounded to myself at the time. (Good editing, probably.) Whatever argument I may (or may not) have made to justify the fine distinction I drew between Kepler's speculation and hard SF (some ramble about Gernsback, I suspect) is lost to my memory as much as to the recording, if it was ever there in the first place. Also, I got Hal Clement's name slightly wrong - from nervousness rather than ignorance.
Andrew Brown evidently enjoyed his visit, particularly to the library:
So there I was on Tuesday, touching the vellum of a 13th century manuscript of Alhazen, another of Aristotle, and then a first edition of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus and one of Kepler's Nova Astronomia. In the shelves on the wall were Galileo's works.'Oh monks, monks, monks,' I heard him murmur, looking at a volume of hundreds of pages of minute invariant uncial script, 'that this labour of yours should be used as a cheap analogy for DNA replication!'