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science history

NASA History: Chief Historian Bill Barry on Hugh Dryden

The NASA space program likely wouldn't be what it is today without the work Hugh Dryden did before NASA even existed, and his guidance in its early years. NASA's Chief Historian Bill Barry joins Holly for a talk about Dryden's impressive life.

A Brief History of Veterinary Medicine

Animals and humans have been living together for centuries, but standardized veterinary care developed over a long period of time in many different places.

The Extinction of the Stephens Island Wren

The extinction of one New Zealand bird species is often attributed to a single cat. While feline predation played a significant role in the end of the Stephens Island wren, the story is actually more complex.

Maria Sibylla Merian

As a naturalist illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian helped dispel many entomological myths and improved the scientific study of insects and plants, and she did it beautifully.

The Scopes Trial

The Scopes Trial, aka the Monkey Trial, played out in Dayton, Tennessee, in the summer of 1925. It all stemmed from a state law prohibiting the teaching of evolution.

Copernicus

While he's known primarily as the astronomer who promoted the idea of a heliocentric solar system, Copernicus was also a master mathematician and a doctor. He worked for the church his entire life, and wrote a manuscript on devaluation of currency.

Unearthed! Piltdown Man

The Piltdown Man is one of the world’s most infamous instances of scientific fraud, and it derailed the study of evolution for decades. How exactly did scientists in 1912 fall so completely for a hoax?

The Life and Times of Sir Isaac Newton

You may know the apple/gravity story, but Isaac Newton's life was so much more than that. Not only did he contribute huge concepts to physics, mathematics and astronomy, he also busted counterfeiters.

The Explosive Career of Antoine Lavoisier

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was a chemist, biologist, geologist, physiologist, and economist. But at the end of the day, he's most often referred to as the father of modern chemistry. He also was smack dab in the middle of the French Revolution.

Luis W. Alvarez, Pt. 2

The second part of the Luis Alvarez episode covers his time as part of the Manhattan Project designing detonators for atomic bombs. Beyond his controversial work, Alvarez also contributed to particle physics, mystery solving and paleontology.