Tagged: history of science

On the Shoulders of Giants? - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 16, 2019

Isaac Newton is often thought to be the inventor of the apparently self-deprecating phrase ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, but he was not: actually it had been in use for over 500 years before he repeated it in 1675. Of more significance is that Newton wrote it in a letter to … Read More

The invention of the geostationary communications satellite - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 18, 2019

The idea of satellites beaming radio communications around the globe was discussed by science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke in 1945, though he imagined huge geostationary space stations permanently staffed by astronauts who would be needed to change the electronic valves in the onboard radio transmitters. We’ve not been able to watch live cricket matches from around the globe on … Read More

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 6 – Science: Tell us what to do - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Dec 19, 2018

Many people have this idea that we just need to trust the scientists on this one. Science will tell us what to value so we should just leave it to them. Here are some comments again from my interview with Kim Hill: ‘This is not a cultural judgment about the value of different species but is a scientific one’ … Read More

A short history of vaccine objection, vaccine cults and conspiracy theories - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 11, 2017

Ella Stewart-Peters, Flinders University and Catherine Kevin, Flinders University When we hear phrases like vaccine objection, vaccine refusal and anti-vaxxers, it’s easy to assume these are new labels used in today’s childhood vaccination debates. But there’s a long history of opposition to childhood vaccination, from when it was introduced in England in … Read More

Darwin and New Zealand - The Atavism

David Winter Feb 12, 2013

February the 12th is the anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. Across the world people will be marking the day by remembering Darwin the discoverer of evolution by natural selection, Darwin the cautious husband, Darwin the barnacle boffin and maybe even Darwin the geologist who explained the origin of coral atolls. I might be the only person who takes … Read More

Historians and sociologists just as human as scientists - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 03, 2013

This great Sidney Harris cartoon reminds me of the Big Bang Theory scene where Sheldon and Leonard end up wrestling during a conference presentation by Leonard. It’s also a handy antidote for anyone with an idealistic picture of scientists and … Continue reading → … Read More

Historians of science sometimes miss the wood for the trees - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Oct 14, 2011

I came across this nice little quote recently:* Philosophy of science without history of science is empty; history of science without philosophy of science is blind. It’s attributed to  Imre Lakatos, the Hungarian philosopher of mathematics and science. This really … Continue reading → … Read More