Historical Geographies of the Prime Meridian

Speaker: Prof Charles W.J. Withers # GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

6th Oct 2014

15:30 - 17:00

Conference Room, David Hume Tower


The Prime Meridian,0š,is the place at which the world's geography and time-keeping begins. Since 1884, and by international agreement at the Washington International Prime Meridian Conference, this has been at Greenwich, in the UK. Before 1884, however, and even after, there were numerous different prime meridians at work, each a reflection of different national and scientific interests. We know the 'solution' to the Prime Meridian problem - Greenwich, in 1884. Little is known of the 'problem': the many different prime meridians in existence before 1884.This paper will examine this as an issue in the historical geographies of science paying attention to questions of national and community difference, accuracy and precision, and social interest.

Speaker Biography