Roger Bacon, Medieval Alchemy, and the Prolongation of Life

Lunchtime Lectures
Friday, March 18, 2022
12:00 p.m. EDT (UTC -4)

Roger Bacon believed that by using alchemy, one could create medicines that would significantly extend human life. Institute fellow Meagan Allen is in the process of writing a book that explores exactly how Bacon thought these medicines would work and puts him in the context of 13th-century medical practice.

Join Allen as she briefly discusses her project as a whole, and then expands upon and shares conclusions from a chapter of her forthcoming book.

About the Speaker


Meagan S. Allen headshot

Courtesy of Meagan S. Allen

Meagan S. Allen is the Cain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Science History Institute. She received her PhD from the department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine at Indiana University in 2021. Her research focuses on the intersection of alchemy and pharmacology in the 13th century, specifically in the works of Roger Bacon.

About the Series

Our virtual Lunchtime Lecture Series takes a rigorous and entertaining approach to exploring topics for scholars and anyone interested in stories about the history of science, technology, and medicine. The talks help expand perceptions of the nature of science and how it’s done.