Longitude ups and downs

The Longitude Project blog is now taking off nicely and, even at this early stage, it is demonstrating how the, possibly stale-sounding, topic of the history of the Board of Longitude reaches into all sorts of interesting areas in Georgian history of science, and beyond. In recent posts Alexi Baker has looked at the frequent connection made between longitude projectors and madness, in Longitude and Lunacy, and the danger of leaping to conclusions about historical terminology, in Dangerous Definitions; Nicky Reeves has considered what may be a parallel case of government rewards for technical and scientific innovation, in Mrs Stephen’s Cure for the Stone; Katy Barrett wins top post title with Cucumbers in the History of Science; I took the opportunity to post a great picture of Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne‘s observing suit in Maskelyne, anniversaries and the observing suit; and Simon Schaffer has added a nice post, Reaching for the Moon, with typically colourful language from Reuben Burrow, about the difficulties faced by those who attempted to use lunar distances when the methods, instruments and tables were still novelties aboard ship.

However, all is not yet bliss. We are currently being frustrated by various glitches with the software and, as Will Thomas found out recently, commenting is currently impossible for people outside the NMM network. I hate to think of good comments going to waste, so I have put up Will’s on his behalf and would encouarge anyone who has anything to say about any of these posts to either contact me directly or to add it as a comment to this post. If you want me to put it up on the Longitude site just let me know (and add on which post it should appear). Our sincere apologies to anyone who has wasted time trying to comment so far. It is likely that we will be migrating the blog elsewhere in the near future (probably WordPress) and I do my best to keep everyone updated.

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