Faraday has been frequently portrayed as a typical lone man of science working unremittingly in his basement laboratory and only when he had made a major discovery announcing it to an appreciative audience in the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution. This image is reinforced by the seven large printed volumes of research notes (referred to as his Diary), which contain few references to him working with other scientists. In his work on electricity and magnetism Faraday did indeed work mainly by himself. However, his research notes should not be taken to imply that he spent all his time in the laboratory. In fact, only a small proportion of his time was taken up by the discoveries that made him famous and most of his research work was performed in the summer months prior to the commencement of the London social season which directed the calendar of the Royal Institution. The remainder of his time was mostly taken up with fulfilling the duties arising from the various institutions with which he was connected. These duties can be divided into four categories: first, his family and the Sandemanian church; second, commercial consultancy work; third, scientific institutions, and, finally, state agencies and those supported by the state. His involvement in the last two will be discussed in this chapter.
KeywordsRoyal Society Royal Institution Lecture Theatre Consultancy Work Provincial Town
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