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Aa100 Tma03

  • Date Submitted: 02/01/2012 10:34 AM
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TMA03 – Part 1
According to the author of this extract, what aspects of Faraday’s life and work contributed to his reputation? How does the picture presented here compare to the picture of Faraday’s reputation in his own lifetime?

The natural philosopher Michael Faraday was born in 1791, into a relatively poor family; his father was a blacksmith and his mother a domestic servant. Faraday’s education was of no real merit; despite this, he went on to become one of the most famous “scientists” of the 19th Century. The given extract from The Times editorial (18th June 1891) celebrated the centenary of Faraday’s birth. This essay will examine and highlight the aspects of Faraday’s life that contributed to his reputation according to this editorial.

The editorial celebrates the fact that Faraday “loved science for the sake of science.” (Times Faraday Editorial, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2008, Milton Keynes, p.23); he shunned the route to wealth and riches from his discoveries in favour of the pursuit of the truth. This reflects the notion that Faraday was a gentleman of science, which was a popular Victorian idea of the period.

Being of the upper classes, the readers of The Times would have appreciated Faraday’s dedication to his work and high moral code. Faraday’s goals were to further knowledge; he was not interested in the possible future applications of his findings. Instead, his aim was discovery in its purest form and investigating for the pursuit of knowledge: “His eye was fixed upon truth itself and not upon the useful results that might come from the knowledge of it.” (Times Faraday Editorial, in AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2008, p.23)

Faraday was determined to entertain the visitors to his lectures and fascinate them with the experiments on display. Perfecting such techniques of delivery became one of the main drivers to the fame and celebrity he achieved, and again would appeal to a Victorian audience.

Indeed, the celebratory lectures...


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