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William Crookes (1832-1919)

Join us for a one day seminar to celebrate the life of William Crookes

Event description

This year marks the centenary of the death of William Crookes. Journalist, chemist, photographer, spiritualist, businessman, sometime Secretary of the Royal Institution and President of the Royal Society of London, Crookes was a key figure in the science of the second half of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth.

This meeting, organised by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, the Historical Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Institution, which is part of the ChemFest celebrations of the sesquicentenary of the periodic table, will examine various aspects of Crookes's extraordinary career and his place in science. The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry’s AGM will also be held at this meeting and further details about this will be sent to members in the autumn.


13.45   Registration for Crookes Meeting13:55   Welcome and Introduction: Frank James, (Royal Institution and Chair of SHAC)First Session Chair: Anna Simmons (UCL)

14.00   Richard Noakes (Exeter University) 'Two Parallel Lines'? The Trajectories of Physical and Psychical Research in the Work of William Crookes14:20   Kelley Wilder (De Montfort University, Leicester)'William Crookes, a life in Photo-Chemistry'15.00   Refreshment BreakSecond Session Chair: Peter Morris (Chair of RSCHG)15.30   Frank James (Royal Institution and UCL)'William Crookes and Michael Faraday'16.10   Paul Ranford (UCL)'Crookes’s “Invisible Helper” – George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903)'16.50   William Brock (University of Leicester)'The key to the deepest mystery of nature: Crookes, periodicity and the genesis and evolution of the elements'17.30   Close of meeting


There is no charge for this meeting, but prior registration is essential. Please email Robert Johnstone ( if you would like to attend.

If having registered, you are unable to attend, please notify Robert Johnstone.


The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free. The museum is wheelchair accessible.

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