Crash Course History of Science
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Crash Course History of Science
First Aired: March 19th, 2018
Status: Ended
Air Time: Monday, 05:00 PM
Network: YouTube
Summary: For as long as Hank has hosted Crash Course, he's wanted to host a series about the history of science. We've been asking big questions for a really long time and we've all wanted to explore how we've sought to answer those questions through the centuries. Questions like, "What is stuff?" and "Where are we?" have inspired people all over the world to investigate. So lets dive in and see how we, as a people, have tried to figure this stuff out.
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# of Episodes: 46
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Season 1
Intro to History of Science
Episode 1: Intro to History of Science
Air Date: March 26th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: We've been asking big questions for a really long time and we've all wanted to explore how we've sought to answer those questions through the centuries. Questions like, "What is stuff?" and "Where are we?" have inspired people all over the world to investigate. So lets dive in and see how we, as a people, have tried to figure this stuff out in this first episode of Crash Course History of Science!
The Presocratics
Episode 2: The Presocratics
Air Date: April 9th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Long ago, some philosophers worked very hard to separate myths from what they actually knew about nature. Thales theorized that everything in the world is made of water. Pythagoras was a mathematical-mystical vegetarian. And Democritus, we all know and love as the Atom Guy… Meet the Presocratics!
Plato and Aristotle
Episode 3: Plato and Aristotle
Air Date: April 16th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Last week, we met the Presocratics - despite having by any reasonable standard invented science in Europe, these thinkers are lumped together today as simply “not Socrates.” So who was this smarty pants? In this episode Hank talks to us about Socrates and his two important students, Plato and Aristotle.
Episode 4: India
Air Date: April 24th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: You might have recognized the names of some of the Greek natural philosophers. They were individuals with quirky theories, and we have records about them. But they weren’t the only people making knowledge back in the day. Today, Hank takes us to India to talk Vedas, Maurya Empires, and some really good doctoring.
The Americas and Time Keeping
Episode 5: The Americas and Time Keeping
Air Date: April 30th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: In this episode of Crash Course History of Science, we travel to the Americas to ask the question, "When are we?" and get some answers. We'll look at the Maya, Inca, and Olmec civilizations and how they recorded their science.
Roman Engineering
Episode 6: Roman Engineering
Air Date: May 7th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: The Romans developed a lot of infrastructure like roads and aqueducts to both help their cities flourish and to... you know... be better at war. But the interesting thing about Roman Engineering is how it was almost all focused on Techne and not Episteme. In this episode of Crash Course History of Science, Hank takes us down the road of road building, domes, and some really cool cement.
The Medieval Islamicate World
Episode 7: The Medieval Islamicate World
Air Date: May 14th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: The religion of Islam significantly influenced knowledge-making in the greater Mediterranean and western Asian world. Islamicate scholars—meaning people influenced by Islamic civilization, regardless of their religious views—gave us terms such as “algebra,” “azimuth,” “algorithm,” “alcohol,” “alkali,” and “alembic.” We’ll dive into Islamic medicine and philosophers such as the great Persian polymath Ibn Sina in future episodes. For now, let’s explore the beginnings of Islamicate natural philosophy.
Medieval China
Episode 8: Medieval China
Air Date: May 21st, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Like Egypt, Sumer, and Mesoamerica, ancient China represents a hydraulic civilization—one that maintained its population by diverting rivers to aid in irrigation—and one that developed writing thousands of years ago. Today, we’re going to focus on the time of the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties, a time of great technical innovation. But, before we get to the Song, let’s take a tour through the ages and explore key elements of Chinese scientific culture.
Ancient & Medieval Medicine
Episode 9: Ancient & Medieval Medicine
Air Date: June 4th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: The history of medicine is about two of our big questions - one, what is life? What makes it so special, so fragile, so… goopy!? Two, how do we know what we know? Why should I take my doctor’s advice? Why are deep-fried Oreos bad for me? It may be tempting to look at medicine as a science that has simply progressed over time—that medicine used to be bad, and its history is a story of how it got better.
Episode 10: Alchemy
Air Date: June 11st, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: n fantasy stories, charlatans in fancy robes promise to turn lead into gold. But real alchemists weren’t just mystical misers. They were skilled experimentalists, backed by theories of matter. And they played a huge role in the development of knowledge about one of our fundamental questions - “what is stuff?”
Cathedrals and Universities
Episode 11: Cathedrals and Universities
Air Date: June 25th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Until roughly 1100, there were relatively few places of knowledge-making. Monasteries and abbeys had special rooms called scriptoria where monks copied manuscripts by hand. But the biggest places where knowledge was made were the Gothic cathedrals. Then Universities came along, too. This is the story of those two institutions!
The Scientific Revolution
Episode 12: The Scientific Revolution
Air Date: July 2nd, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: So, what exactly is a scientific revolution? And are they more than just moments in time Historians use to mark the beginning and ending of things through time? In this episode we'll look into some ideas and people named Nick and how they fit into science and the search to understand ourselves and our place in the universe.
The New Astronomy
Episode 13: The New Astronomy
Air Date: July 9th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: This week on Crash Course - History of the Scientific Revolution—astronomical anomalies accrued. Meanwhile, in Denmark—an eccentric rich dude constructed not one but two science castles! And his humble German assistant synthesized a lot of new, old, and bold astronomical ideas into a single sun-centered, eccentricity-positive system…
The Scientific Methods
Episode 14: The Scientific Methods
Air Date: July 16th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Historically speaking, there is no one scientific method. There’s more than one way to make knowledge. In this episode we're going to look at a few of those ways and how they became more of the "norm."
The New Anatomy
Episode 15: The New Anatomy
Air Date: July 23rd, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: There’s a question to consider that’s pretty daunting - what is life? And to try to answer that question, three tools stand out as being especially useful - A book, some experiments, and the microscope! In this episode, Hank talks to us about all kinds of gross things! It's fun!
The Columbian Exchange
Episode 16: The Columbian Exchange
Air Date: August 6th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Over the last four episodes, we’ve examined some of the stories that make up the idea of a “revolution” in knowledge-making in Europe. But we can’t understand this idea fully, without unpacking another one—the so called Age of Exploration. This encompasses a lot of events that happened from 1400 through the 1600s and were driven in part by new ideas about knowledge-making.
Newton and Leibniz
Episode 17: Newton and Leibniz
Air Date: August 14th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: The standard story of the Scientific Revolution culminates with the long life of one man - Sir Isaac Newton—a humble servant of the Royal Mint, two-time parliamentarian, and a scientific titan whose name, along with Einstein’s, is synonymous with physics today.
The New Chemistry
Episode 18: The New Chemistry
Air Date: August 20th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: One of the problems with the whole idea of a single Scientific Revolution is that some disciplines decided not to join any revolution. And others just took a long time to get there.
Biology Before Darwin
Episode 19: Biology Before Darwin
Air Date: August 27th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: You’ve probably heard of Charles Darwin, but before we get to him, you really need to understand how different people, throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, tried to answer the same question - “what is life?”
Earth Science
Episode 20: Earth Science
Air Date: September 10th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's Earth Science time!!!! In this field, natural philosophers were asking questions like, what’s up with fossils? Are they the remains of extinct organisms? Or are they so-called “sports of nature”—rocks that just happen to look like living things but don’t /mean/ anything? And most importantly, how old is… everything?
The Industrial Revolution
Episode 21: The Industrial Revolution
Air Date: September 25th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: You probably know some of the signs of industrialization in the nineteenth century - Trains connected cities, symbolizing progress. But they also brought about the destruction of rural lands, divisions between social classes, and rapid urbanization. But there's a whole lot more to talk about in this episode of History of Science!
Darwin and Natural Selection
Episode 22: Darwin and Natural Selection
Air Date: October 1st, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: "Survival of the Fittest" sounds like a great WWE show but today we're talking about that phrase as it relates to Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Darwin and Wallace are at the heart of understanding evolution and natural selection. Today, Hank talks about their wonderful (if not seasick inducing) trips around the world.
Eugenics and Fracis Galton
Episode 23: Eugenics and Fracis Galton
Air Date: October 8th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: After Darwin blew the doors off the scientific community, a lot of people did some weird and unscientific stuff with his ideas. Francis Galton and a few others decided natural selection could be used to make the human race "better" and came up with Eugenics.
Episode 24: Micro-Biology
Air Date: October 15th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's all about the SUPER TINY in this episode of Crash Course - History of Science. In it, Hank Green talks about germ theory, John Snow (the other one), pasteurization, and why following our senses isn't always the worst idea.
Genetics - Lost and Found
Episode 25: Genetics - Lost and Found
Air Date: October 22nd, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Sometimes trail blazers of science aren't famous like Darwin or Pasteur. Sometimes they're humble Abbots, just growing peas in the back of their Abbey. This is the story of Gregor Mendel and how his work was done, lost, then found again.
Episode 26: Thermodynamics
Air Date: October 29th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's time to heat things up! LITERALLY! It's time for Hank to talk about the history of Thermodynamics!!! It's messy and there are a lot of people who came up with some ideas that worked and other that didn't and then some ideas that should have come first actually were figured out second.
Episode 27: Electricity
Air Date: November 5th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: The study of electricity goes all the way back to antiquity. But, by the time electricity started to become more well known, a few familiar names started to appear. Edison, Galvani, and a few others really changed the way the world worked.
Ford, Cars, and a New Revolution
Episode 28: Ford, Cars, and a New Revolution
Air Date: November 12nd, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Historians love to debate each other. So some of them pointed out that the first half of this revolution looks a lot different from the second. Let's chat about industry, cars, and Henry Ford.
Cinema, Radio, and Television
Episode 29: Cinema, Radio, and Television
Air Date: November 26th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Radio, Cinema, and Television have been staples in news coverage, entertainment, and education for almost 100 years. But... where did they all come from? Who started what and when and why? In this episode, Hank Green talks to us about their birth and a dead elephant.
The Mind/Brain
Episode 30: The Mind/Brain
Air Date: December 3rd, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: Scientists in the nineteenth century discovered a lot about life and matter. But exactly what kind of stuff is the human brain? That one was—and is—tricky. The brain sciences—with experiments and therapies tied to biological theories of the body—emerged in the nineteenth century and came into their own in the early twentieth.
Marie Curie and Spooky Rays
Episode 31: Marie Curie and Spooky Rays
Air Date: December 17th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's time to talk about one of the most awesome scientists that has ever been awesome - Marie Curie. She figured out ways to get an amazing education despite the limitations of her homeland, discovered some really important answers to the question "what is stuff?", and she helped other people (like her husband) complete their own studies and discoveries.
Einstein's Revolution
Episode 32: Einstein's Revolution
Air Date: January 7th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: There was physics before Einstein in the same way that there was biology before Darwin. Einstein didn’t just add some new ideas to physics. And he didn’t just add a unifying framework for doing physics, like Newton. Einstein took what people thought was physics, turned it upside down, then turned it inside out.
The Atomic Bomb
Episode 33: The Atomic Bomb
Air Date: January 14th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: The story picks up where we left off last time, with Einstein writing the president of his new homeland, the United States, urging him to build a nuclear weapon before Hitler. This is the tale of the most destructive force humans have ever unleashed. The Atomic Bomb.
Episode 34: Biomedicine
Air Date: January 21st, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: The history of science up until the Cold War is often overshadowed by the Manhattan Project. But, today we are going to talk about advances in biomedicine, or healthcare based on a biological understanding of human bodies and diseases.
Genetics and The Modern Synthesis
Episode 35: Genetics and The Modern Synthesis
Air Date: February 4th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: Remember how Darwin and Mendel lived around the same time, but everyone forgot about Mendel until 1900, and even then biologists saw Darwinism and Mendelism as two competing grand theories about how life works? Well, in this episode of Crash Course History of Science, we're going to bring everything together into a new Modern Biology!
The Computer and Turing
Episode 36: The Computer and Turing
Air Date: February 11st, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: Computers and computing have changed a lot over the History of Science but ESPECIALLY over the last 100 years. In this episode of Crash Course History of Science, we have a look at that history around World War Two and how that conflict forced changes in computing.
Air Travel and The Space Race
Episode 37: Air Travel and The Space Race
Air Date: February 18th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: Like the Industrial or the Einsteinian Revolution, the Space Race is a trope, or way of organizing historical events into a story that makes sense. In this story, the two great powers that emerged after World War Two—the United States and Soviet Union—competed to send communications satellites, dogs, and people into outer space.
Episode 38: Ecology
Air Date: February 25th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: We’ve explored the origins of modern biology, the earth sciences, and even the sciences of outer space. Now it’s time to put these disciplines together. It's Ecology time!!!
Controlling the Environment
Episode 39: Controlling the Environment
Air Date: March 4th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: Well, it wouldn't be too long after we started developing Ecology that we would try to control the environment. In some ways this was helpful and likely prevented a lot of people from starving. But, there have been a few downsides.
Episode 40: Biotechnology
Air Date: March 18th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: The history of discovering what DNA is, what it looks like, and how it works is... complicated. But, in this episode of History of Science, Hank Green does his best to lay out the basics so we can understand the beginnings of Biotechnology.
Bodies and Dollars
Episode 41: Bodies and Dollars
Air Date: March 25th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: After World War Two, the applications of basic discoveries in biology took off—and became big business. Today, we’ll look at the rise of Big Pharma and GMO foods. We’ll also discuss how life-science technologies fundamentally changed reproduction - it’s time to invent In Vitro Fertilization and clone a sheep!
The Century of the Gene
Episode 42: The Century of the Gene
Air Date: April 1st, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: With the question “What is life?” addressed at the molecular level, humanity could finally cure all disease and live forever… Except, not really. It turns out we're complicated.
The Internet and Computing
Episode 43: The Internet and Computing
Air Date: April 8th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: We’ve talked a lot about advances in biotech. But none of those could have happened without advances in computing. It’s time to get back to data and explore the unlikely birth, strange life, and potential futures of the Internet. In this episode of Crash Course History of Science, Hank sits down to talk about how computers have changed, where they're going, and how the internet fits into all of this.
Life and Longevity
Episode 44: Life and Longevity
Air Date: April 15th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's time to have a look at the future of human life and how technology could possibly extend longevity. But, within that tech, are questions of ethics that are not always at the top of mind when the tech is being developed. In this episode, Hank sits down to chat about CRISPR and the science of Human longevity.
Climate Science
Episode 45: Climate Science
Air Date: April 22nd, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: Scientists tend to be careful and resistant to big claims. So evidence for the possible end of the living world took a while to be seen as such. In this episode of Crash Course History of Science, Hank talks to us about where Climate Science started and how it works today.
The Limits of History
Episode 46: The Limits of History
Air Date: April 29th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Summary: It's the final episode of our History of Science series and we thought it would be good to talk a little about some of the people we couldn't get to and some of the reasons we need to talk about diversity in scientists. Thanks for the journey, everyone!
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