British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Great Scientists

Synopsis
Oxford historian Professor Allan Chapman presents a series on five great scientists. The programmes combine location filming, animation, comedy and drama to challenge many existing notions about these thinkers.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2004
Year of production
2003
Notes
Broadcast in 5 weekly parts on Five, beginning 12/1/04
Subjects
Science; FE
Keywords
Darwin, Charles (1809-1882); Einstein, Albert; Enlightenment; evolution; Galileo; history of science; Newton, Isaac; philosophy of science; physics; relativity theory; scientific method; Aristotle

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£19.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
150 minutes
Year
2004

Sections

Title
Aristotle
Synopsis
Aristotle, "Father of Science", was arguably the single most influential figure in the history of thought. So many of his ideas are now taken for granted - that behind the phenomena of the universe there must be some logic, comprehensible, at least in principle, by human reason. Yet in his time, this was a revolutionary proposition. Allan Chapman journeys from Oxford to the temples of ancient Greece to reconsider the philosopher and scientist whose ideas were held to be beyond question for two thousand years.
Duration
30 mins

Title
Galileo
Synopsis
Galileo Galilei spent most of his life trying to disprove the work of Aristotle. Allan Chapman travels to Venice to explore why these heretical views arose when and where they did. The film describes the revolutionary implications of Galileo’s novel scientific methods and charts the great transition from the observational science of ancient and medieval Europe to the experimental science which ushered in the modern world. This is where modern science begins.
Duration
30 mins

Title
Newton
Synopsis
Newton was one of the great heroes of the Enlightenment, celebrated by rational thinkers and political radicals of the day. His great work, ‘Principia Mathematica’, changed the way scientists thought about every physical object in the universe. His theory of the Universal Laws of Motion, which established the key ideas in physics - ‘action’, ‘reaction’, ‘inertia’ and ‘force’, applied to the whole of nature, from the atomic to the cosmic. Central to it was his most famous, and little appreciated, theory of gravity.
Duration
30 mins

Title
Darwin
Synopsis
Darwin’s epoch-making theory of evolution was seen as a threat to religious belief. Allan Chapman explains Darwin’s extraordinary discovery of how genes, and gene mixing, allow species to physically change and develop. Darwin’s great work, ‘The Origin of Species’, had an enormous impact on the Victorian world view, it inspired thinkers like Karl Marx and is still ruffling feathers today.
Duration
30 mins

Title
Einstein
Synopsis
Albert Einstein is the most famous scientist in the world. He gave us the atom bomb, the world’s most famous equation (E=mc2), and the Theory of Relativity - a work so complex that for some time only two other people could make any sense of it. Allan Chapman charts the rise of Einstein from a humble clerk in the Swiss patent office to Nobel prizewinner, and he manages to make Einstein’s incredibly complex, and earth-shattering theories, transparent and engaging.
Duration
30 mins

Sponsor

Name

Five

Notes
Previously Channel 5

Distributor

Name

Wag TV

Email
support@wagtv.com
Web
http://www.wagtv.com/index.html External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7688 1707
Address
2D Leroy House
436 Essex Road
London
N1 3QP

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