‘Dandy philosopher’, Sir Humphry Davy.
The likes of Charles Darwin and Humphry Davy weren't always seen as the powerful, authoritative heroes they're portrayed as today.
The case for neoclassicism in science.
Will the moon move from servant to equal?
Gregory H. Revera/wikipedia
Scientists first started disagreeing about whether the moon should be a planet in Galileo's day.
In Soviet Russia, the science tests you.
When politics meddles with science, it can lead to tragedy, as was the case with Stalin's favourite agricultural biologist Trofim Lysenko and his rival Nikolai Vavilov.
Galileo demonstrates a telescope to the doge of Venice.
People have always known science would advance faster with various incentives and rewards. As modern experimental science took off, these took the form of gifts and favors to and from wealthy elites.
Isaac Newton’s portrait. What can students learn from his life?
Research shows that students feel motivated when they learn more about the struggles and failures of the world's greatest scientists.
Many of us feel that technology threatens our relationships and 'usual' modes of human interaction. But so did the Victorians.
Galileo’s sketches of the moon, showing its phases.
We take our understanding of the solar system for granted, but it took centuries to figure out. The original writings of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo and others show how they sparked a revolution.
The relentless pursuit of showy flowers for garden display – as seen at Chelsea Flower Show – has seen some odd uses of radiation and chemicals .
James McEvoy playing with fire.
20th Century Fox
Mary Shelley’s diaries reveal that in 1814 she attended a lecture that Andrew Crosse, “thunder and lightning man”, delivered in London.
CSIRAC: Australia’s first computer has had a lasting impact.
University of Melbourne
It may have been big, slow and lacking in much memory but almost seven decades on we have a lot to thank the creators of Australia's first programmable computing machine.
Jesuit astronomers with Chinese scholars in the 18th century.
Les cahiers de Science et Vie October 2009
As a Jesuit, Pope Francis is part of a long tradition of religious men of science. Will his leadership influence the Catholic Church's stance on contemporary scientific issues?
We got you, Pluto!
In the long lead-up to our ultimate flyby of Pluto, space science has reconfigured our notions of what it means to be a solar system, a planet, a world.
Blowing up the desert – and people’s minds: the first atom bomb test in 1945.
The first atom bomb test seventy years ago today marks the start of a change in Americans' thinking about radiation. On balance, our nuclear anxieties endure today.
Respected scientists within the recently formed National Research Council proposed building orphanages to study nature vs nurture with respect to racial differences.
Library of Congress
The history of race science is a history of racist science, as epitomized by this proposed but never carried-out experiment from the early 20th century.
Science in space.
For all the exciting stories and developments that basic science research produces, there is one question that the public never tires of asking: “What are the possible applications of that discovery…
Alexander von Humboldt selfportrait.
Gaze at Alexander Von Humboldt’s 1814 self-portrait and you peer into the eyes of a man who sought to see and understand everything. By this point in his life, at age 45, Humboldt had tutored himself in…
Deep thoughts for deep problems.
Alan Turing is one of the world’s best-known mathematicians, and probably the best known in the past century. This is partly for his work on cracking German codes in World War II, and partly for his arrest…
Agent Orange this ain’t.
The history of science is full of episodes when a seemingly ludicrous theory is ridiculed, but then slowly gathers evidence and support to move from the fringes to the heart of the scientific consensus…
Didn’t improve their brains much.
Review of Reviews (1904)
Brain-training programmes are all the rage. They are part of a growing digital brain-health industry that earned more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$6 billion by 2020…