This paper examines the shifting cultural place of galvanic experiments at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It surveys the ways in which political readings of galvanism by radicals and Tories during this period had an important role in determining the ways in which these kinds of experiment, and galvanism in general, were understood later in the century. The paper examines the attitudes of Humphry Davy, Thomas Beddoes and Giovanni Aldini to galvanism and suggests that there was a good deal of contemporary interpretative flexibility about the ways in which galvanic experimentation might be understood. It argues in particular that Humphry Davy's rejection of his earlier views on galvanism after his arrival at the Royal Institution can be regarded as emblematic of a broader shift in the culture of experimental natural philosophy at the end of the English Enlightenment.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Notes and Records of the Royal Society|
|Early online date||01 Jul 2009|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Sept 2009|