Michael Faraday book cover
Michael Faraday portrait

The Correspondence of Michael Faraday
in 6 Volumes

Published by the IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology)
Edited by Frank James, Professor of History of Science, Royal Institution

For this campaign, I was also tasked with overseeing the event marking the book’s launch which I had to manage from beginning to end.

I had the idea to organise a talk between Prof Frank James and a philosopher with the following title: ‘Faraday: a man devoted to science and religion – a living paradox?’

My managing the event involved finding the additional speaker; putting together the guest list with the client’s support; managing all invitations; determining the topic and the discussion’s structure; deciding the Evening’s set up; training in public speaking the discussion’s moderator; and making sure that everything run smoothly on the day…

Science blog Bookwitch covered the launch and interviewed Frank James.

The challenge

Promoting a Series comprising 6 Volumes of letters, costing more than £100 each, wasn’t going to be easy – both due to the price and to the fact that each Volume contained about 800 pages of letters; a highly specialist endeavour indeed.

The solution

Write a press release, broken down into sections, clearly highlighting the themes of interest to the wide public, e.g. Faraday’s background (he was mostly self-taught); Faraday’s famous friends and acquaintances including Charles Dickens, natural philosopher James Clerk Maxwell, and philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts; and the fascinating historical setting, the Victorian era, against which the action unfolded.

The result

Beyond the specialist press which included The Institute of Physics’ newsletter; Horizon (the publication of the Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Authority); CILIP Update (published by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and ISIS Journal (History of Science Society)…  Prof. Frank James was interviewed by the Today Programme (BBC Radio 4’s flagship morning news programme); and the Series had a lengthy review in leading literary weekly, Times Literary Supplement.