What is the greatest scientific idea of all? Because science has so dramatically altered how we live and how we think about ourselves, the answer may well be the very idea of science itself, because - just like science's most important achievements - it, too, needed to be thought about, perfected, and invented. This 36-lecture series explores the ideas that have helped form the foundation of modern life - when society has been willing to pursue them. The lectures interpret the term "scientific idea" broadly, to include the ideas that made science possible at all, as well as the ideas that make it so immensely powerful. The result will be new insights into how science shapes society, as well as the way in which society, in turn, affects the directions taken by science.
You'll learn that there is no sharp distinction between ideas that are classified as scientific and those that are classified as philosophical or mathematical, or even between scientific ideas and political, religious, or aesthetic ideas. And how for 200 years, it has been the interaction of science and technology with society that has been the primary driver of social and cultural change, first in the West, then globally, and at an accelerating rate, affecting social and personal values and relationships; social, political, and economic institutions; and cultural values and activities in ways beyond anything our great-grandparents (or sometimes even parents) would recognize.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses
Professor Goldman made me want to go back to the study of Science. His presentation, his knowledge and the love for his subject were obvious in every lecture. This is one lecture series that you cannot put down. I was lost with some of the complex scientific content, but, that just made me want to listen again and go and buy the notes that go with the series.
Great erudition, rapidly presented. Will need several revisits to fully absorb its wide ranging content. Would love access to the written transcript for more detailed study.
Great interplay of abstract and practical, and of philosophy and technology. Professor conveyed tremendous excitement and mastery of the material.
History of Ancient Rome, in that the professors had similar storytelling skills, and gracefully stepped out of the chronological narrative for thematic purposes.
Relating of Einstein's Doh! moment when he added a fudge factor to the his General Relativity theory that proved extraneous.
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