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The Controversies of Brewing Science around 1800

August 14 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Free

Speaker: Dr James Sumner, Senior Lecturer in the History of Technology at the University of Manchester

In 1809 a London brewery was prosecuted for the unusual offence of trying to remove cloudiness from its beer by dosing it with an extract of fish-skins. “Keep your stinking fish to yourselves,” thundered the Solicitor-General – and yet the brewers won the case. Drawing on trial records and Excise correspondence at The National Archives, this talk discusses the challenges brewers faced in promoting new innovations to an often justifiably suspicious public, and how they enlisted scientific reputations in support of their cause.

Key to their victory was the star witness, Humphry Davy, famous for his chemical discoveries and the most successful public communicator of science of his generation. Davy’s evidence was technical – the substance, he said, sank to the bottom of the vessel and did not make its way into the drinker’s pot – but it was his authoritative status that won the day.

Drawing on trial records and Excise correspondence held in our collection, this talk discusses the challenges brewers faced in promoting new innovations to an often justifiably suspicious public, and how they enlisted scientific reputations in support of their cause.

This online talk will be presented via the FLOW platform.

In order to attend this online event you will need either:

  • The latest version on Google Chrome
  • The latest version of Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer and Safari for MacOS are not currently supported by FLOW.

You can register and attend the event on Android mobile devices using the latest version of Android and the Google Chrome browser. IOS is not currently supported.

Details

Date:
August 14
Time:
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:
Website:
https://prod.flowapp.com/s/WovSSKg7Q5?refToken=MA

Other

Your name
Clare Kelly
Your email
clare.kelly@nationalarchives.gov.uk