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Renaissance Goo

Renaissance Goo

A historian of the body and a soft matter scientist experiment with Renaissance personal care recipes

About Renaissance Goo

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Renaissance Goo: Historic Personal Care Recipes and Soft Matter Science is a 2-year research project lasting from September 2021-August 2023 funded by a Royal Society Apex Award. This award allows Professor Jill Burke, a historian of the body, to work with Professor Wilson Poon, a soft-matter scientist to investigate early modern personal care recipes.

The project will focus on recreating skin care recipes from an Italian text first published in 1562, Giovanni Marinello’s Ornamenti delle donne (‘Adornment of Women). We will be asking questions like:

  • how best can historians and scientists collaborate?
  • how can recipes be best used as historical sources?
  • what can a recreation of these recipes tell us about the lives of renaissance people, especially women?
  • can the ingredients used in these recipes provide sustainable ingredients in modern skincare?

Watch this space for information about work-in-progress, our events and our publications.



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