My eureka moment

A series in which academics describe a personal epiphany

September 17, 2009

When Archimedes stepped into the bath and exclaimed, "Eureka!", or "I have found it", it wasn't the soap he was referring to but something rather more elusive: that wonderful moment when you make that sudden, exciting discovery in your field.

For some, such as Jonathan Bate, the first to dip his toe into the water of this series, their eureka moment came on top of a mountain; for others it was in Oxford's Bodleian Library.

The joyous Archimedes was so eager to share his discovery with the world that he leapt out of the bathtub and ran down the street naked. Our contributing scholars are equally keen to share their stories, but happily the only thing they will bare is their soul.

In the coming months, we will feature contributions from academics including Don Braben in physics, Ron Hutton in history, Ian Stewart in mathematics, Ron Johnston in geography, Alex Danchev in art and Laurie Taylor (who had the idea for this series) in sociology.

- Ann Mroz, Editor

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