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By Hooke or by crook

In resurrecting Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine has created her own optical illusion

By Patricia Fara   December 2003

Book: The Curious Life Of Robert Hooke Author: Lisa Jardine Price: HarperCollins, ?25

Even Cambridge academics now appreciate the publicity value of scientific anniversaries. In 1953 the discovery of DNA scarcely reached the national press, yet this year’s celebrations overshadowed those for Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest. It was only during the second half of the 19th century that publicists started to organise festivities for national figures such as Robert Burns. Scientific birthday parties arrived still later, and one of the largest was orchestrated by the nascent electrical industry’s public relations men, who in 1931, for the 100th anniversary of…

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