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 give an illusory inference of design – assembled products that seem to be perfectly suited for their environments and that give a certain sense of deliberate calibration. There is a reason why this illusion arises, and that is due to the process of natural selection, which so rightly […]Read more "The Illusion of Design"
In the 18th Century, navigating across the seas was a very risky business, fraught with danger and uncertainty. 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. Thousands of sailors had died. And, mistakes […]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 "Mortals Rejoice at So Great an Ornament of the Human Race"
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"