The unlikely history of radium

Thursday 19 September, 6pm

Evening talk

Radium: a present for a queen, a housewife’s secret aid, and an everyday cure-all for the ailments of the early 1900s. In this talk Lucy Jane Santos tells the fascinating, curious, and sometimes macabre story of radium from its rise as a desirable item to its gradual downfall through the eyes of the people who bought, sold and eventually came to fear it. This talk will take you journey into the odd areas where science and consumerism touch, as well as telling a more nuanced tale about the entrepreneurs and consumers in radium’s history who have until now been considered quacks, or fools, or both. 

Lucy Jane Santos is a freelance writer and historian with a special interest in popular science and the history of everyday life. She writes and talks (a lot) about cocktails and radium. Her debut non-fiction Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium will be published by Icon in July 2020.

Basement Gallery. Tickets £7. 

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