456 years ago today, a true champion of scientific thought was born. GALILEO GALILEI was one of the major luminaries of the Scientific Revolution. His works spurred major intellectual development and scientific growth, efforts on his part which, owing to the dark parochial periods of the time, nonetheless dearly cost him. Despite his unrelenting attempts […]
Read more "A Trailblazer of Science"
In the midst of all the celebratory merriment centred around Christmas, it is all too common for people to forget about the birthdays of remarkable individuals. One such revolutionary figure who, all too often, gets overshadowed on this festive day is the great scholar of physics Sir Isaac Newton, a super character who devoted all […]
Read more "Mortals Rejoice At So Great an Ornament of the Human Race"
Today would have marked the 137th the birthday of influential biologist Sir Alexander Fleming, most notably known for his work with penicillin for which he won the 1945 Nobel prize in Medicine along with colleagues Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. Fleming’s story highlights the underlying serendipity behind many of the greatest discoveries in science, particularly […]
Read more "The Wonder Drug"
In 18th century Europe, a most potent killer was ravaging entire populations. It had been claiming the lives of 400,000 victims a year. Those who survived its horrors were left disfigured or blinded. Those who did not internally bled to death. The destruction caused was so great, the dread so severe enough to merit its […]
Read more "The Speckled Monster"
The unguided processes of nature quite often lead to an illusion of design – assembled products that seem to be perfectly suited for their environments and that give a certain sense of being deliberately calibrated. There is a reason why this illusion arises, and that is due to the process of natural selection, which so […]
Read more "The Illusion of Design"
In the 18th Century, navigating across the seas was fraught with danger and error. With no practical method of determining longitude, sailors had no accurate means of pinpointing their position at sea. Ships had sailed forth only to blunder off course and never return. Sailors had died by the thousands. And, mistakes had jeopardized trade […]
Read more "The Clock That Changed the World"
The Industrial revolution can perhaps be characterized as a transition from humanised handicraft to mechanized manufacture, as actuated by a complex structure of successive and interweaving technological innovations. But, what spurred such technological advancement remains contentious. What is it about the 18th Century that made it distinctively amenable to such technical change? And, importantly, what […]
Read more "Ideas That Propelled the Industrial Revolution"
One of the crowning achievements of the methods and tools of science is their self-correcting systematic approach of interrogating nature and therefore of perpetually morphing one’s knowledge of the natural world in accordance with the ensuing evidence of reality. In this manner, the experimenter suspends and subverts any preconceived notions, personal prejudices, or certain interests, […]
Read more "Newton’s “Four Rules of Reasoning” in Philosophy"
We take for granted the scientific norms and practices which govern many of today’s standard publication procedures in modern scientific journals. But, indeed, the development of modern scientific discourse owes its immense history back to 17th century England. Henry Oldenburg, a 17th century German theologian, saw the need for a means to disseminate scientific knowledge […]
Read more "The Establishment of Modern Scientific Discourse"
Few people today have heard of Sir George Cayley but indeed much of the intellectual edifice, upon which the principles of modern aerodynamics rest, can be attributed to the genius of this great thinker. Born in December 1773, this Yorkshire baronet was the first to imagine the airplane. A hundred years before the Wright Brothers, […]
Read more "Sir George Cayley: The Father of the Airplane"