Carl Sagan did more to popularize science than any man on the planet, sharing his wonder and fascination with the mysteries of the universe with millions. He was the rarest of all creatures: the celebrity scientist. While some accused him of being a grandstander, none can deny that his approach to science helped introduce millions of people to the great wonders of the universe that fascinated him all his life. Carl Sagan played many roles: professor, working scientist, bestselling author and TV personality. In his classic television series, he brought science to the masses in an accessible, entertaining format. But he also performed groundbreaking research in astronomy, and was willing to risk his reputation to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Explore the remarkable life of this visionary scientist from his childhood to his death from bone marrow disease at 62. Colleagues trace the many contributions he made to his field, while family members including his wife and sister offer insight into the private man. From Cosmos to Contact, this is the story of the dedicated man who shared his love of the heavens with millions.
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Dawkins discusses his book, the Selfish Gene, which divided the scientific community and made him the most influential evolutionary biologist of his time. Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the most well-known and controversial scientists in Britain. A passionate atheist he believes science rather than religion offers us the best way to appreciate the wonders of the Universe we live in. In the last 10 years he has become notorious for his outspoken views on religion, but at the heart of his success is his explosive first book -- The Selfish Gene -- which put forward a radical rewriting of evolutionary theory and divided the scientific community. Much of the controversy comes from its provocative title.
In the first of three episodes we learn how Rembrandt arrived in Amsterdam ‘like a thunderclap’ and was courted by the city’s wealthy elite, before falling into conflict with the city’s most powerful patrons. Jones explores the highs and lows of Rembrandt’s personal life too: from the new-found riches enjoyed with his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, to the tragedies that unfolded before him, leading to some of his most celebrated work.
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.