title

Seven Ages of Science

BBC Radio 4

3
Followers
19
Plays
Seven Ages of Science
Seven Ages of Science

Seven Ages of Science

BBC Radio 4

3
Followers
19
Plays
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About Us

A history of science in Britain from the Restoration to the present day. Weaving science back into everyday life, Lisa Jardine shows how the concerns of the scientist are the concerns of us all

Latest Episodes

Age of Now

Lisa Jardine explores what's driving science in the 21st century: curiosity, politics, profit or PR?

27 MIN2013 SEP 18
Comments
Age of Now

Age of War

Lisa Jardine explores how military demands mobilised science not in World War II, but in World War I. The idea that Britain's scientific expertise and effort was mobilised from scratch on the eve of World War II is a myth. Long before 1939, Britain was ready to wage, and win, a scientific war.

28 MIN2013 SEP 11
Comments
Age of War

Age of the Lab

Lisa Jardine explores how scientists became separated from wider society. Until the end of the 18th century, most scientific endeavour took place in private houses or workshops, often done on a part-time basis by passionate enthusiasts. It was the poet Samuel Coleridge who suggested, in 1833, that men who were neither literary nor philosophers might be called "scientists"; but still there were no public laboratories and certainly no white coats. The idea that people could be trained in laboratories was pioneered in Germany and it was decades before Britain caught on. In 1858, an expensive project to lay a telegraph cable under the Atlantic failed; and an inquiry into the failure recommended that Britain needed more men who understood how telegraphy actually worked. Today, the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge is famous for a string of Nobel Prize winning discoveries into the nature of the atom and the structure of molecules including, famously, DNA. But it was set up to train more t...

27 MIN2013 SEP 4
Comments
Age of the Lab

Age of Inspiration

Lisa Jardine explores an Age in which scientists took leaps of faith. At the start of the 19th century, fossils were a mystery. Mary Anning excavated the remains of huge and extraordinary creatures from the cliff face at Lyme Regis. Most men of science assumed she'd found a crocodile: she insisted her creature was entirely unknown. As other such mysterious monsters were unearthed, they represented a puzzle for established theology, but theology coped. Electricity, "that imponderable fluid", was another mystery; as was magnetism, another weird and invisible force. Maxwell's Laws of electro-magnetism, lavishly praised by Einstein decades later, explained them both, and light as well. His four simple equations reduced mystery by unifying apparently disparate phenomena. A notion that pervades and drives much of physics to this day. The way in which telegraph networks deliver messages might as well have been magic. And several well respected Victorian physicists believed that if voices c...

27 MIN2013 AUG 28
Comments
Age of Inspiration

Age of Opportunity

Lisa Jardine explores how the advent of mass manufacture in the Midlands changed scientific endeavour from a gentlemanly pursuit into a gritty, profitable, factory-based industry; and helped to forge a new scientific discipline, chemistry. Many early industrialists in Britain were vigorously interested in the material world. Josiah Wedgwood carried out thousands of experiments to achieve his unique Portland Blue: methodically changing the precise composition of the clay and adding different chemical elements to create new colours. He gave us fine bone china. He also gave us systematic and relentless testing on an industrial scale and the notion of quality control. Through patiently experimenting with different methods, apparatus and techniques, James Keir worked out how to mass-produce soap. His factory at Tipton turned soap making from a craft into a science. It revolutionised hygiene, made Keir's fortune and paved the way for modern industrial chemistry. In this Age of Opportunity...

27 MIN2013 AUG 21
Comments
Age of Opportunity

Age of Exploration

We're often told that science changed our world. In this series, Lisa Jardine explores how the world changed science, pushing it in new directions, creating new disciplines and pioneering new approaches to scientific understanding. Lisa Jardine describes how the desire to build an empire promoted a keen scientific interest in plants, in this second of her Seven Ages of Science, exploring the history of modern science in Britain. We needed to understand what plants existed in the world and how they might be grown for profit elsewhere in the tropics. In the Age of Exploration, the early British Empire was an international botanical empire. In the 1700s, scientifically-minded men devoured stories of exotic new worlds from the comfort of their London coffee houses. In the 1800s, an explosion in overseas trade allowed young men with an interest in the natural world to discover strange new species for themselves. The known world was expanding, science started to look outwards. Ships retur...

28 MIN2013 AUG 14
Comments
Age of Exploration

Age of Ingenuity

In the first of her Seven Ages of Science, Lisa Jardine explores the history of modern science in Britain from its birth in Restoration England. It was an Age of Ingenuity: an age when hundreds of hard-working artisans in the City of London made clocks, watches, microscopes and spectacles; when Robert Hooke revealed an exquisite microscopic world; and when Isaac Newton stood on the shoulders of giants. An Age when, Lisa argues, an ability to make things work was as important as a flair for mathematics.' One giant telescope is now a familiar item on the London skyline: The Monument, built in memory of the Great Fire of London, by Robert Hooke. The ingenious Mr Hooke was a familiar figure on London's streets; helping to rebuild the city whilst bustling between the many of his projects. He worked on devices which are still familiar to us today - the microscope, springs, and Hooke's Joint - a universal joint, which is still used in our car transmissions. Isaac Newton, now remembered as ...

28 MIN2013 AUG 7
Comments
Age of Ingenuity
the END

Latest Episodes

Age of Now

Lisa Jardine explores what's driving science in the 21st century: curiosity, politics, profit or PR?

27 MIN2013 SEP 18
Comments
Age of Now

Age of War

Lisa Jardine explores how military demands mobilised science not in World War II, but in World War I. The idea that Britain's scientific expertise and effort was mobilised from scratch on the eve of World War II is a myth. Long before 1939, Britain was ready to wage, and win, a scientific war.

28 MIN2013 SEP 11
Comments
Age of War

Age of the Lab

Lisa Jardine explores how scientists became separated from wider society. Until the end of the 18th century, most scientific endeavour took place in private houses or workshops, often done on a part-time basis by passionate enthusiasts. It was the poet Samuel Coleridge who suggested, in 1833, that men who were neither literary nor philosophers might be called "scientists"; but still there were no public laboratories and certainly no white coats. The idea that people could be trained in laboratories was pioneered in Germany and it was decades before Britain caught on. In 1858, an expensive project to lay a telegraph cable under the Atlantic failed; and an inquiry into the failure recommended that Britain needed more men who understood how telegraphy actually worked. Today, the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge is famous for a string of Nobel Prize winning discoveries into the nature of the atom and the structure of molecules including, famously, DNA. But it was set up to train more t...

27 MIN2013 SEP 4
Comments
Age of the Lab

Age of Inspiration

Lisa Jardine explores an Age in which scientists took leaps of faith. At the start of the 19th century, fossils were a mystery. Mary Anning excavated the remains of huge and extraordinary creatures from the cliff face at Lyme Regis. Most men of science assumed she'd found a crocodile: she insisted her creature was entirely unknown. As other such mysterious monsters were unearthed, they represented a puzzle for established theology, but theology coped. Electricity, "that imponderable fluid", was another mystery; as was magnetism, another weird and invisible force. Maxwell's Laws of electro-magnetism, lavishly praised by Einstein decades later, explained them both, and light as well. His four simple equations reduced mystery by unifying apparently disparate phenomena. A notion that pervades and drives much of physics to this day. The way in which telegraph networks deliver messages might as well have been magic. And several well respected Victorian physicists believed that if voices c...

27 MIN2013 AUG 28
Comments
Age of Inspiration

Age of Opportunity

Lisa Jardine explores how the advent of mass manufacture in the Midlands changed scientific endeavour from a gentlemanly pursuit into a gritty, profitable, factory-based industry; and helped to forge a new scientific discipline, chemistry. Many early industrialists in Britain were vigorously interested in the material world. Josiah Wedgwood carried out thousands of experiments to achieve his unique Portland Blue: methodically changing the precise composition of the clay and adding different chemical elements to create new colours. He gave us fine bone china. He also gave us systematic and relentless testing on an industrial scale and the notion of quality control. Through patiently experimenting with different methods, apparatus and techniques, James Keir worked out how to mass-produce soap. His factory at Tipton turned soap making from a craft into a science. It revolutionised hygiene, made Keir's fortune and paved the way for modern industrial chemistry. In this Age of Opportunity...

27 MIN2013 AUG 21
Comments
Age of Opportunity

Age of Exploration

We're often told that science changed our world. In this series, Lisa Jardine explores how the world changed science, pushing it in new directions, creating new disciplines and pioneering new approaches to scientific understanding. Lisa Jardine describes how the desire to build an empire promoted a keen scientific interest in plants, in this second of her Seven Ages of Science, exploring the history of modern science in Britain. We needed to understand what plants existed in the world and how they might be grown for profit elsewhere in the tropics. In the Age of Exploration, the early British Empire was an international botanical empire. In the 1700s, scientifically-minded men devoured stories of exotic new worlds from the comfort of their London coffee houses. In the 1800s, an explosion in overseas trade allowed young men with an interest in the natural world to discover strange new species for themselves. The known world was expanding, science started to look outwards. Ships retur...

28 MIN2013 AUG 14
Comments
Age of Exploration

Age of Ingenuity

In the first of her Seven Ages of Science, Lisa Jardine explores the history of modern science in Britain from its birth in Restoration England. It was an Age of Ingenuity: an age when hundreds of hard-working artisans in the City of London made clocks, watches, microscopes and spectacles; when Robert Hooke revealed an exquisite microscopic world; and when Isaac Newton stood on the shoulders of giants. An Age when, Lisa argues, an ability to make things work was as important as a flair for mathematics.' One giant telescope is now a familiar item on the London skyline: The Monument, built in memory of the Great Fire of London, by Robert Hooke. The ingenious Mr Hooke was a familiar figure on London's streets; helping to rebuild the city whilst bustling between the many of his projects. He worked on devices which are still familiar to us today - the microscope, springs, and Hooke's Joint - a universal joint, which is still used in our car transmissions. Isaac Newton, now remembered as ...

28 MIN2013 AUG 7
Comments
Age of Ingenuity
the END
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