"Richard Feynman is one of the most iconic, influential and inspiring scientists of the 20th century. He helped design the atomic bomb, solved the mystery of the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and won a Nobel Prize. Now, 25 years after his death - in his own words and those of his friends and family - this is the story of the most captivating communicator in the history of science"
Bettany Hughes travels to Vienna on the trail of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Freud's influence surrounds us. In our vocabulary - repression, penis envy, the Freudian slip - and in the freedom we take for granted, to talk openly about our deepest feelings and insecurities. A pioneer in the study of the human mind, Freud's psychoanalytic methods addressed emotional issues, seldom even discussed in the 19th century. Talking to his patients inspired his radical understanding of the unconscious mind, as a repository of hidden repressed emotions and irrational primal desires.
Population statistics are like crystal balls -- when examined closely, they can help predict a country's future (and give important clues about the past). Kim Preshoff explains how using a visual tool called a population pyramid helps policymakers and social scientists make sense of the statistics, using three different countries' pyramids as examples.
From Luke Skywalker's light sabre to Darth Vader's Death Star, the Star Wars franchise is one of the defining science fiction works of the later 20th century. George Lucas' prolific imagination has already inspired two generations of scientists and engineers to push the envelope of technology. By introducing computers into the filmmaking process, he changed the way movies are made, and the way we all see the future.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most brilliant and dangerous minds of the 19th century. His uncompromising and often brutal ideas smashed the comfortable presuppositions and assumptions of religion, morality and science. His was a world not just bereft of God but almost of humanity, breathtaking in both its post-religious starkness and its originality. Bettany Hughes goes in search of the beliefs of a man whose work is amongst the most devastatingly manipulated and misinterpreted in philosophical history. Nietzsche's dislike of systems and of seeking truths left his ideas ambiguous and sometimes incoherent. It was this that made him vulnerable to interpretation, and as a result his thoughts - which warned against the very notion of a political system like totalitarianism - were manipulated to strengthen its ideals. Vocally opposed to anti-Semitism, his anti-Semitic sister made sure he became the poster boy for Hitler's drive for an Aryan ideal.