50 years ago, New Scientist looked even further back to the dawn of universities in an 8-page special
25 March 2020
SIX hundred years ago, “the three pillars on which civilization rested were the Catholic Church, the Holy Roman Empire and the universities”. This is how Bertram, Lord Bowden, principal of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in the UK, opened eight pages of coverage on “Universities and Society” on 26 March 1970.
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He charted how universities came about, including a pivotal moment in 1415 when the rector of the University of Prague was burned alive, and “students fled in panic – to … Heidelberg and several other universities”. The humanist, independent model they founded there was resisted in England. Bowden, developing the …