Rob Iliffe, a new Fellow at Linacre, is a Professor of History of Science at the University of Oxford. As director of the Newton Papers Project, he oversees the edition of Newton’s writings on the Newton Project website. He is the author of Newton: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2007) and Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton (Oxford, 2015).
On 18 February 2016, in Radio 4’s leading discussion programme, In Our Time, Professor Iliffe discussed the life and work of Robert Hooke (1635-1703) who worked for Robert Boyle and was curator of experiments at the Royal Society. The engraving of a flea is taken from his Micrographia which caused a sensation when published in 1665. Sometimes remembered for his disputes with Newton, Rob Iliffe described how Hooke studied the planets with telescopes and snowflakes with microscopes, and was an early proposer of a theory of evolution, discovered light diffraction with a wave theory to explain it and felt he was rarely given due credit for his discoveries.