I’m excited to announce that the video of the talk I gave at the TED Global conference in Edinburgh in June will be available for viewing on the TED website starting Friday morning, at 11 am ET. I’ll post a link here when the video goes online!
Archive Page 2
A nice piece on consilience is just out in Philosophy Now magazine. Written by Toni Vogel Carey, the article highlights the different views of consilience held by Whewell/Herschel on the one hand and E.O. Wilson/Stephen Jay Gould on the other. Definitely worth a look by anyone interested in scientific confirmation.
My review of David Berlinski’s The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements will be in this weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal. Just in time for the Oscars, there’s even a movie tie-in:
“One of the more curious historical revelations of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is that America’s 16th president was obsessed by a Greek mathematician from the fourth century B.C. While traveling from town to town as a young lawyer riding the Eighth Circuit in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln kept a copy of Euclid’s geometrical treatise, “The Elements,” in his saddlebag; his law partner Billy Herndon related that at night Lincoln would lie on the floor reading it by lamplight. Lincoln said he was moved to study Euclid by his desire to understand what a “demonstration” was, and how it differed from any other kind of argument.”
The entire review can be read here.
Tags: A Man of Misconceptions, Athanasius Kircher, Before Galileo, Book Reviews, John Freely, John Glassie, Lawrence Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy, Wall Street Journal
Happy 2013, everyone!
To start off the new year, here’s my latest for the Wall Street Journal: a review of three books that locate the origins of modern scientific practice where we may least expect it—in monks’s cells, magicians’s workshops, and alchemists’s hidden laboratories. Read the review here and in tomorrow’s print edition.
The books are: John Freely’s Before Galileo, John Glassie’s A Man of Misconceptions, and Lawrence Principe’s The Secrets of Alchemy.
Tags: Charles Darwin, evolution, Origin of Species
In honor of the anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species on November 24, 1859:
Footage of the moth that pollinates Angraecum sesquipedale, a Madagascar orchid, whose existence Darwin predicted 142 years ago. Because the nectar is so far down the neck of this orchid, Darwin knew that there had to be a species of moth with a “tongue” long enough to pollinate it. And now that moth has been found.
This is fascinating! Watch here.
My picks for holiday books about science appeared in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. You can see which 2012 releases I suggest for gift giving here.
Tags: Book Reviews, Seduced by Logic, Wall Street Journal
My newest review for the Wall Street Journal is out in today’s issue. To see what I had to say about Robyn Arianrhod’s Seduced by Logic: Emilie du Chatelet, Mary Somerville, and the Newtonian Revolution, see here.
Watch out on Saturday for my contribution to the Wall Street Journal’s annual Book Gift Guide. And, coming in December, a longer essay on the birth of modern science in the 17th century.