HISTORY OF SCIENCE (BBC), a new 6-part series, airs on Ch. 5.1: Thursdays at 9:00 pm and again on Sundays at 6:00 pm, beginning 6/14
“Boldly brings to life the relationship between science and history” — Daily Telegraph
“For viewers baffled or simply bored by talk of orbits and ellipses, there’s something far more fleshy to stick the teeth into… for those disillusioned by the idea of history as a series of clever men having clever ideas, it offers something more appealing: progress coming out of each age, not just individuals.” — Express
What’s out there? Where did we come from? What are we made of? What’s the secret of life? Can we have unlimited power? Who are we? This landmark series tells the thrilling story of how science has shaped our lives.
Every moment of every day we live in a world created by science. But the story of how we got here is much more than the simple tale of breakthroughs, genius and men jumping out of baths shouting “Eureka!” HISTORY OF SCIENCE shows how the political upheavals of history combine with iconic inventions and discoveries, along with the ideas of great thinkers, to create the advances that have transformed our lives.
Each episode starts with a disarmingly simple question that everyone asks, and then delves into the past, uncovering human stories and recreating the great experiments of the men and women who sought the answers and, in doing so, changed the world.
Discover how science has found out what we are made of; where we came from; and what exists beyond Earth. Find out how science revealed the hidden secrets of nature; how it provided the force to topple kings and emperors; and how it unleashed untold power from within our planet. It’s the story of how history made science, and science made history, and how the ideas that emerged made the modern world.
Episode 1 – What is Out There?
We begin with the story of one of the great upheavals in human history – how we came to understand that our planet was not at the centre of everything in the cosmos, but just one of billions of bodies in a vast and expanding universe. It includes the critical role of medieval astrologers in changing our view of the heavens, and the surprising connections to the upheavals of the Renaissance, the growth of coffee shops and Californian oil and railway barons.
Episode 2 – What is the World Made Of?
Our society is built on the search to find the answer to what makes up everything in the material world. This is a story that moves from the secret labs of the alchemists and their search for gold to the creation of the world’s first synthetic dye – mauve – and onto the invention of the transistor.
Episode 3 – How Did We Get Here?
The question of our human origins is one of the most controversial science has wrestled with. This is the story of how scientists came to explain the beauty and diversity of life on earth, and we reveal how its evolution is connected to the long and violent history of our planet.
Episode 4 – Can We Have Unlimited Power?
We are the most power-hungry generation that has ever lived. Explore how that power has been harnessed – from wind, steam and from inside the atom. It has taken centuries for science to explain what power is, rather than simply what it does.
Episode 5 – What is the Secret of Life?
This is the story of how the secret of life has been examined through the prism of the most complex organism known – the human body. It begins with attempts to save the lives of gladiators in Ancient Rome and unfolds all the way through to the microscopic world of cells and DNA.
Episode 6 – Who Are We?
We now know that the brain – the organ that more than any other makes us human – is one of the wonders of the universe, and yet until the 17th century it was barely studied. The twin sciences of brain anatomy and psychology have offered different visions of who we are.