As part of our art book, ‘The Rules of Form: Sonnets & Slide Rules,’ poet Lesley Saunders and artist Cassie Herschel-Shorland were invited to interpret historic calculating instruments in the Whipple Museum’s collection. The result is a ‘dream cabinet’ of poetry and watercolour. I will chair a discussion between Lesley and Cassie talking about their collaboration, at the launch of the ‘Rules of Form’ art-book.

I’m proud to say that this is the first ‘art book’ the Whipple Museum has ever produced, and I’m delighted to have been encouraged to fulfil this ambition, having proposed the idea, compiled contributions, and edited the book with help from the Museum. I’ve wanted to create a book that is a blend of poetry, writing, and artwork for a long time, and surprisingly, the Whipple Museum’s cabinet of mathematical instruments offered this opportunity.

The event, in which we’ll discuss the creation of a particular section of the book, will be from 6 -7 pm on Saturday 27 October in the Whipple Museum. The ‘Dream Cabinet’ discussion is part of the 2012 Cambridge Festival of Ideas ‘Dreams & Nightmares’ season. It is free, but please contact the museum to put your name on the guest list! Email¬†hps-whipple-museum@lists.cam.ac (dot) uk to sign up.

‘The Rules of Form: Sonnets & Slide Rules’ art book includes essays from Cambridge academics Dr Caitlin Wylie and Dr Joseph Crawford, artwork from Cassie Herschel-Shorland and Badaude, and poetry from Lesley Saunders. It is a creative compendium of responses to the somewhat retiring mathematics cabinet in the Whipple Museum, helping shed new and creative light on calculators and slide rules that have lain relatively silent for years.

The book will be available from the Whipple Museum: further details forthcoming. It will also be available at our event!