Talk & Demos: Professor Patrick Copland's educational contraptions

Talk & Demos: Professor Patrick Copland's educational contraptions

This is a past event

The 10th of November is the 200th anniversary of the death of one of the University of Aberdeen's most popular teachers, the scientist Professor Patrick Copland.

Come along to the Science Teaching Hub to find out about this inspiring teacher, what it was like to study ‘natural philosophy’ 200 years ago and see some of Copland’s 18th century teaching apparatus in action, including the hair-raising ‘Head of Despair’!

12.30-1pm:Talk (book to reserve your seat)

Patrick Copland and science education in late 18th – early 19th century Aberdeen.

1pm - 4pm: Demonstrations (drop-in)

See working examples of Patrick Copland’s teaching apparatus from 200 years ago.

* Museum & Special Collections curatorial staff will be on hand to talk about the apparatus until 4pm

Patrick Copland apparatus (detail) 

About Patrick Copland (1748-1822):

Professor Patrick Copland taught Natural Philosophy at Marischal College from 1775 to 1822, retiring shortly before his death 200 years ago. The subject of ‘Natural Philosophy’ was roughly what we would call physics today, covering topics such as the properties of matter, mechanics, optics, astronomy and electricity and magnetism. Copland was a popular teacher who taught evening classes for adults as well as teaching university students, using models and demonstration devices as teaching aids.

A selection of Patrick Copland's teaching apparatus

Sam Revell, Museums & Special Collections
Hosted by
University of Aberdeen Museums & Special Collections
Science Teaching Hub
  • This event is FREE and open to all.
  • To reserve a seat for the Talk go to the booking link below.
  • Drop in to see the Demonstrations - no booking required.
  • For further details/enquiries email