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Exhibition at the Palais des Congrès
from June 9th to June 13th 2003
9 h - 18 h 30
The organization committee for the 12th ICAE conference wishes to open
and follow the congress with an exhibition dedicated to Benjamin Franklin.
By enlarging the scope of his work beyond his decisive discovery within
the field of atmospheric electricity, the purpose of the project is to
bring to light a few aspects of Franklin's life and personality: modernity
of his scientific approach, research of immediate applications for his
discoveries, and finally his first rank political role witnessed by his
embassy to the Versailles court.
The course of the exhibition will be focused around three centres.
- The first one will illustrate the diversity but also the consistency
of Franklin's work which is well anchored into the Age of Enlightenment
as a result of his humanistic concern.
- The second pole will focus on the experiences demonstrating the electrical
nature of lightning which were carried out in 1752 on both sides of
the Atlantic. While presenting this major experience, the fruitful (but
slow and risky) exchanges between the mid-XVIIIth century scientists
will also be illustrated.
- The last pole will be dedicated to the invention of the lightning
rod by a scientist anxious to put his discoveries to everyone's service.
Within this frame, the theological quarrels, superstitious fears and
various disputes of any nature which followed the diffusion of this
remarkable invention will also be mentioned.