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劇場中的宇宙:大眾天文演講在十九世紀的倫敦
The universe in a cockpit: orreries, showmen and popular astronomical lectures in London, 1820-1870
Hsiang-Fu Huang | University College London, United Kingdom

大眾科學演講在十九世紀初的英國已相當興盛。受通俗表演文化影響,當代的大眾科學演講常為混雜教育及娛樂的產物。許多研究文獻探討此時期的大眾科學演示,例如Altick (1978)、Hays (1983),或最近由Fyfe and Lightman (2007) 彙編對「大眾市場中的科學」論述的諸作品。天文演講亦不例外。設置在舞台上的大型簡明式太陽系儀自十八世紀後期開始發展,並成為大眾天文演講的重心。屢被前人研究提及的著名案例為Walker家族的Eidouranion。其後在維多利亞時代的倫敦仍有許多類似的大眾天文演講。有些講師在當代頗負盛名,但今日卻對他們所知甚少。本研究探討的天文講師包括C. H. Adams (1803-1871)、George Bartley (1782-1858)、G. H. Bachhoffner (1810-1879)、John Wallis (d. 1852?)。這些講師殊異的背景及風格,以及其演講場所的差異,反映了當代天文科普的多樣性。本研究將揭示一個由科學圈外的「科學表演者」為主角的十九世紀天文科普市場。


(本論文以英語發表;this paper is presented in English.)

Popular scientific lecturing had been flourishing in the early nineteenth-century Britain. Being influenced by the contemporary show culture, scientific lecturing to the lay audience was a sensational, sometimes bizarre, mixture of instruction and entertainment. Many studies had discussed the phenomena, such as Altick (1978) and Hays (1983), or more recently the works on ‘science in the marketplace’ edited by Fyfe and Lightman (2007). Astronomical lecturing was no exception. The transparent orreries, a huge type of planetariums on the stage, had been developed since the late eighteenth century and been a centrepiece of astronomical shows. The most famous example mentioned by previous studies was the Walker family’s Eidouranion. However, the Eidouranion was not the end of similar performances; there were various astronomical lectures afterwards in Victorian London. Some lecturers enjoyed popularity yet little is known about them today. The list included the independent showman C. H. Adams (1803-1871), a professional actor George Bartley (1782-1858), the Royal Polytechnic Institution’s G. H. Bachhoffner (1810-1879), and John Wallis (d. 1852?) who lectured in many mechanics’ institutes. The different backgrounds and characters of these lecturers, along with the diverse spaces in which the activities took place, reflect a broad spectrum of the contemporary popular astronomy. My study will show a nineteenth-century arena of astronomical popularization wherein the popularizers were beyond the circle of professional scientists.