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The History of Science: 1700-1900 | [The Great Courses]

The History of Science: 1700-1900

The scientific theories that were first discovered and made public in the years 1700-1900 are some of the most pivotal in history. Landmark theories of planetary motion, the workings of nature, and the speed of light were all ideas that took the world by storm. Now you can share in that story of discovery in a series of 36 lectures designed to give you a rock-solid understanding of the great discoveries of Newton, Darwin, Franklin, Pasteur, and so many others.
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Publisher's Summary

The scientific theories that were first discovered and made public in the years 1700-1900 are some of the most pivotal in history. Landmark theories of planetary motion, the workings of nature, and the speed of light were all ideas that took the world by storm.

Now you can share in that story of discovery in a series of 36 lectures designed to give you a rock-solid understanding of the great discoveries of Newton, Darwin, Franklin, Pasteur, and so many others. You’ll see clearly how these great thinkers brought their ideas into a world and a time that resisted them, gaining a new admiration for their achievements in an atmosphere where scientific advancement had to struggle against established ways of both scientific and religious thinking.

While many presentations of scientific history often neglect to consider its context - the societies and cultures in which our most influential "natural philosophers" (the term scientist didn’t exist until the mid-19th century) made their contributions - these lectures put that context in the forefront where it belongs, exploring how dynamics of time and place help determine the questions that get asked and the directions scientists pursue in response.

The result is a series that adds invaluable historical depth and dimension to your study of science. As much about history as science - and often far more so, with the focus on the climate and process of scientific discovery rather than the science itself - this course will enhance your ability to see contemporary scientific events in a vividly informed context.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (90 )
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4.2 (76 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Juha Hyvinkaa, Finland 06-22-14
    Juha Hyvinkaa, Finland 06-22-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a math teacher in a vocational school. I want to become a physics teacher also. Self development, teaching and upbringing intrest me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My dream school would use these"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is just a small minority who are interested (or who have to study) history of physics. So this is not an audiobook for great audiences. But for people like me this is A DREAM COME TRUE. I really enjoyed this clear history in an audible form, which allowed me to listen to it where ever. I only wish I could be examined on these instead of cumbersome paper books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Carnot process was explained in a manner which was easy to follow.


    What about Professor Frederick Gregory’s performance did you like?

    I like the way how he made reference to future parts or different professors lecturers.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Carnot


    Any additional comments?

    I sure wish future "school" would better utilize these kind of learning tools.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher SYLMAR, CA, United States 10-21-14
    Christopher SYLMAR, CA, United States 10-21-14 Member Since 2002
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    "A wonderful journey of discovery"
    Would you listen to The History of Science: 1700-1900 again? Why?

    Yes, it is so rich I think I would find fresh insights on a second listening


    Have you listened to any of Professor Frederick Gregory’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I listened to his lectures on Darwin and enjoyed them so much I immediately sought out his other lectures


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin SPRING, TX, United States 07-31-15
    Kevin SPRING, TX, United States 07-31-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Narrative for History of Science"
    If you could sum up The History of Science: 1700-1900 in three words, what would they be?

    Narrative, Educational, Thought-provoking


    What other book might you compare The History of Science: 1700-1900 to and why?

    There is another book called "A Little History of Science" by William Bynum...only this lecture series was much longer and provided greater detail.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Frederick Gregory – was your favorite?

    Not sure I understand the question. He's a lecturer.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction, but many thought-provoking questions.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent summary of science and highlights of major milestones in scientific discoveries throughout the 1700 & 1800's. Prof. Gregory has put together an incredible lecture series that provides the audience with an illustrative narrative that did not feel like reading through a dull history book, but instead felt like a moving story with key players.

    Something unexpected was that he was able to work into his narrative the religious perspectives of nearly every philosopher and scientist that was highlighted. One key factor I gained from this presentation was how easy we tend to overlook religious and cultural differences when studying history, and I am guilty of this myself, but rarely do I ever consider the historical figure's time as it was relative to their way of thinking. As Prof. Gregory points out, we tend to apply our own prejudices and understanding on people of the past and ask why how they did or why they did not arrive at the "obvious" conclusions for areas that have since been made well known to us.

    Overall, this was an incredible series on the history of science and truly covered all aspects of the major disciplines: astronomy, biology, geology, physics, medicine, etc.

    Pros: the religious perspective offered with each influential scientist/philosopher
    Cons: would have been interesting to keep going into the 1900's; however I recognize that for scope (and length) purposes this was not feasible.
    Bottom line: a great read for anyone interested in the realm of science or anyone who as ever questioned how we ever got to our present day understanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Huntingtown, MD, United States 07-31-15
    Mary Huntingtown, MD, United States 07-31-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Opened my eyes"

    Loved it. Tied many things I studied in school together.

    Wish he was my instructor I would ha e stayed with science

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew J. Lowe Austin, Tx United States 07-29-15
    Andrew J. Lowe Austin, Tx United States 07-29-15 Member Since 2010

    jz

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    "tremendous achievement"

    Barbara Tuchman said history is biography. Prof. Gregory proves this true, bringing so many different threads together, placing some of the greatest minds of the 18th and 19th centuries, their discoveries and sometimes their challenges in meaningful historical and social context. he elucidates their humanity with warmth and compassion. not many books will change the way you think about everything. this one will.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MartinHolland Netherlands 02-01-15
    MartinHolland Netherlands 02-01-15

    martijn1970

    ratings
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    2
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    "I loved it!"

    Good overview. Gave me a new perspective. Good job.
    Wish the narrator publishes a book to dig deeper into the narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-26-15
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    19
    5
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    Story
    "Couldn't finish. Too pedantic."
    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Yes.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Frederick Gregory’s performances?

    No, never.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The History of Science: 1700-1900?

    The opening lectures on chemistry are particularly dry.


    Any additional comments?

    I was eager to learn about the history of science. This was just too dull to continue.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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