Dr Patricia Fara lectures in the history of science at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Clare College. She was the President of the British Society for the History of Science (2016-18) and her prize-winning book, Science: A Four Thousand Year History, has been translated into nine languages. Other popular works include Newton: The Making of Genius, An Entertainment for Angels, Sex, Botany and Empire, Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment, and most recently A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War. An experienced public lecturer, Patricia Fara appears regularly in TV documentaries and radio programmes. She contributes to many publications, including History Today, BBC History, New Scientist, Nature and the TLS.
Isaac Newton is celebrated throughout the world as a great scientific genius who conceived the theory of gravity. But in his early fifties, he abandoned his life as a reclusive university scholar to spend three decades in London, a long period of metropolitan activity that is often overlooked. In this revealing talk, Patricia Fara will show how, enmeshed in Enlightenment politics and social affairs, Newton participated in the linked spheres of early science and imperialist capitalism. Instead of the quiet cloisters and dark libraries of Cambridge's all-male world, he now moved in fashionable London society, which was characterized by patronage relationships, sexual intrigues and ruthless ambition.