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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

Science is Power: Politics and Knowledge in the Thought of Francis Bacon

portrait of Francis Bacon
event flyer

Friday, September 12, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.
McGuinn Hall, Room 521  
Boston College

Registration required by 9/10. Register »

"Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.”

— Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626

This one-day conference focuses on Bacon’s seminal plan to master nature by a methodical experimentalism. Leading scholars from around the world will discuss the premises of this natural science and its relation to radical political, social, and cultural reform.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College.


Register now »

event schedule


8:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast & Welcome        
8:30 a.m.

Panel I: Bacon and Early Modern Science
Michael Hunter, Birkbeck College, University of London
“The Baconianism of Robert Boyle: Some New Aspects”

Kathryn Murphy, Oriel College, University of Oxford
“Consider the Lobster: Bacon’s Rhetoric of Realism”

Steven Gaukroger, University of Sydney
“Bacon and Experimental Natural Philosophy”

CHAIR: Rein Uritam, Boston College

10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

Panel II: Science and the Transformation of Society
Jerry Weinberger, Michigan State University
“Kingly Knowledge in Bacon’s The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh

Tobin Craig, Michigan State University
“What is Bensalem to Salomon’s House? What is Salomon’s House to Bensalem?”

Robert Faulkner, Boston College
“What is Bacon’s Political Science?”

CHAIR: Mary Crane, Boston College

12:45 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m.

Panel III: Skepticism and Method: Exemplary Texts
Laura Snyder, New York University
"'We Behold with Astonishment:' The Influence of Bacon and Baconianism on Antoni van Leeuwenhoek”     

Guido Giglioni, Warburg Institute, London
Sylva Sylvarum and the Nature of Bacon’s Experimental Philosophy”

Svetozar Minkov, Roosevelt University
"Cosmological and Political Necessities in Bacon's De Sapientia Veterum"

CHAIR: Dayton Haskin, Boston College

4:00 p.m.
4:15 p.m.
5:45 p.m.


Parking is available on levels 3 or 4 in the Beacon Garage or levels 3-6 for the Comm Garage. The cost is $3.00 an hour with a maximum of $25 per day.
Visitor Parking Details »


Directions and Campus Maps »


Please contact with any questions you may have regarding this event.