Lecture 4 – It's my own invention
In the final talk of his 1974 CHRISTMAS LECTURE series, Professor Eric Laithwaite explores the concept of scientific invention.
Do moments of inspiration and flashes of genius exist or could we set up a school of invention – and, if so, what type of person would benefit most from such an institution?
As he states in his programme note:
"Whatever else there was in the character of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice', there was curiosity in large quantities – and a commendable degree of fearlessness to complement it."
About the 1974 CHRISTMAS LECTURES
Professor Eric Laithwaite presents his second televised series of CHRISTMAS LECTURES exploring the world of engineering.
A sequel to his 1966 series, 'The Engineer in Wonderland', Laithwaite was the first person to present two series of Lectures on national television.
His overriding theme running through series is that "Science is exciting, curiosity its bait". Just as Lewis Caroll’s Alice peered down the rabbit hole and went through the mirror, Laithwaite describes the engineer’s target as the "seemingly impossible".
As he states in his programme notes: "There may be no crown at the end for those who step through the glass, as there was for Alice, but if the delight is there, the journey itself is the reward".
His five lectures explore the varied work of engineers across gravitation, inertia and electromagenitism, including the controversial fourth Lecture where Laithwaite used the behavioural gyroscopes in an attempt to challenge the validity of Newton’s Laws of motion and the laws of thermodynamics.