Today’s Tuttoscienze section of the Italian newspaper La Stampa has an interview with me about the members of the philosophical breakfast club. In it I discuss the changes they brought to science as a profession, and consider how the four men would feel about science today. They would have been pleased by the fact that there is international cooperation in research projects–something that they really spearheaded, with Whewell’s research on the tides and Whewell and Herschel’s active support of the international effort to collect meteorological and magnetic data. But they would have been dismayed, I think, by the growing chasm between science and religion, and science and general culture.
You can read the interview (and see some images of Whewell, Babbage, Herschel and Jones) here.