National Museums Scotland and Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, the University of Edinburgh


Public lecture

Thursday 17 September 2009, 3:00 pm

Professor Mats Fridlund (Copenhagen University):

“The Tools of Terror: Technologies of Terrorism from the Scottish Maiden to the Glasgow Car Bomb”

Terrorism has been as much a product of technologies as of ideologies even going back to the French Reign of Terror and its foremost tool – the guillotine, a later descendant of the Scottish Maiden gibbet. Common to the later first wave of non-state terrorism that emerged in the 19th century were the prevalence of participants with advanced scientific expertise, including engineers, midwives and doctors. This period also saw the appropriation of such chemically related science and technologies as dynamite, revolvers, clandestine printing presses and the illustrated mass press. This talk addresses the role of these and later technologies in shaping terrorism. It will also examine whether then as well as today access and expertise, such as that which the doctors involved in the Glasgow bombings had, can be seen as playing a defining role in the emergence of new forms of terrorism.

Dunfermline Room, National Museums Scotland

Admission free

Please register with Maureen Kerr on 0131 247 4274 or [email protected]