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Spirits in the ether: Oliver Lodge and the physics of the spirit world

Samira Ahmed hosts a panel of experts to discuss the contradictory physicist and spirit world hunter Oliver Lodge

The scientific hunt for the spirit world
Thomas Wolter via Pixabay

Event description

Oliver Lodge was a pioneering physicist of the 20th Century, who made key breakthroughs in the development of radio. However,in an age obsessed with communing with the dead sons of the First World War, Lodge, like his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, was also a committed spiritualist at the forefront of a scientific hunt for a spirit world. Samira Ahmed will host a panel of experts to discuss this fascinating, contradictory figure and his influence

About the speakers

Journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed presents Front Row on Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1. She writes and makes documentaries about the links between popular culture, politics, ethics and science including Radio 3's HG Wells and the H Bomb. She is a visiting professor of Journalism at Kingston University

Christine Ferguson is a Professor in English Studies the Division of Literature and Languages, at the University of Stirling, where her research focuses on the entwined histories of the literary gothic and the British occult revival in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Before coming to Stirling in 2016, she taught at the University of Glasgow from 2008-2016, at the University of Alberta from 2004-2008, and was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia from 2002-2004. She currently serves on the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Panel (from 2016-19) and on the editorial boards of Victorian Review and Victoriographies.

David Hendy is a media historian interested very broadly in the role of sound, images, and communication in human cultures across time. He's especially interested in the role of modern 'mass' media - radio, cinema, television, the internet - in shaping popular life and thought in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. He is Professor of Media and Cultural History, School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex.

James Mussell is Associate Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds and Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print (Centre CHoP). He was Principal Investigator on 'Making Waves: Oliver Lodge and the Cultures of Science, 1875-1940', funded by AHRC.