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Ordered Universe

We’re leading the international research project ‘Ordered Universe’ bringing new perspectives to medieval science. The project has worked with over 150 scholars in different fields of study from all over the world, from both humanities and natural sciences, and the team is sharing its research in new and interactive ways.

What is Ordered Universe?

Ordered Universe is a research project that highlights the nature, practice, and sources of medieval science and brings a fresh outlook to our past.

Central are the scientific works of the English polymath Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170-1253). Grosseteste was one of the most dazzling minds of his generation, and the project presents his thought on natural phenomena in innovative ways.  

The project has three principal hubs in the UK – Durham, Oxford, and York - and internationally including in Italy, Ireland, Lebanon, Canada and the USA.

Sound and light

Professor Giles Gasper, in our Department of History, has developed six high-performance sound and light shows with The Projection Studio seen by over one million people in the UK, Germany and the USA.

Three shows, World Machine, Spiritus, and Horizon, were produced for major international festivals: Durham Lumiere, the UK’s largest sound and light festival, the Berlin Light Festival, and the Napa Lighted Art Festival respectively, and were based on research by the Ordered Universe project.

The project has led to the establishment of a ground-breaking Access to University scheme (OxNet) in the North-East, involving ten regional schools.

The project’s research has been communicated by a wider programme of public education, with over 55 talks and workshops by team members, in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK.

Topics such as ‘The Medieval Big Bang’ and ‘The Greatest Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of’ have received considerable public interest and have been covered in top magazines and media outlets worldwide. 

Find out more

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