"a lecture on Spinoza"
 Baruch Spinoza was a 17th Century Dutch rationalist philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origins.  His work was instrumental in the dawning of the Enlightenment, his greatest work being ‘Ethics’ (published posthumously in 1677).  He repeatedly turned down accolades and prestige throughout his life, preferring a modest and quiet existence as a lens grinder; this only earned him further admiration from his peers.  The annual Spinoza Prize in the Netherlands has been awarded in his name since 1995 to further scientific research.