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The Correspondence of John Tyndall

Books in this Series

Press Release


University of Pittsburgh Press


General Editors

James Elwick, York University
Roland Jackson, The Royal Institution
Bernard Lightman, York University
Michael Reidy, Montana State University


John Tyndall (c. 1822–1893) was professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1853–1887). He published about 85 scientific papers in his lifetime, making significant contributions to many areas of physics—including magnetism and the radiation of heat—and to glaciology, meteorology, and bacteriology. He is best known for discovering the physical basis of the greenhouse effect and why the sky is blue. He was also an expert mountaineer, a superb communicator of science, and a visible cultural figure at the intersections of science, religion, and politics.

Tyndall’s correspondents read like a who’s who of international science, including Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Henry, Rudolf Clausius, and Louis Pasteur. An intense study of his correspondence illuminates themes that individually and collectively played fundamental roles in the development of modern science: the relationship between science and religion, the popularization and professionalization of science, and advances in physics, glaciology, climatology, and the germ theory.

This 18-volume series will draw on the expertise of a team of editors from five countries who specialize in the history and philosophy of Victorian science and technology.

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