Have telescopes, will travel: English astronomers await an 1871 eclipse in India.
The Illustrated London News, 1872
For centuries, scientists have known when and where eclipses will be visible. They pack their bags, head for the line of totality and hope for the best – which doesn't always happen.
Edward Teshmaker Busk.
On the trail of the men of Britain's Royal Aircraft Factory, who gave their lives to help create the world's first air force.
Franklin’s lifelong quest was spreading scientific knowledge to regular people.
Franklin advanced a scientific – not supernatural – understanding of astronomical events such as eclipses. His satirical character 'Poor Richard' mocked those who bought into astrological predictions.
‘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…