The Age Of Wonder

Douglas Hodge reads Richard Holmes' account of the scientific ferment that swept through Britain in the late-18th century.

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01*20081013

Douglas Hodge reads Richard Holmes' account of the scientific ferment that swept through Britain in the late-18th century.

Joseph Banks, the botanist on Captain Cook's first Endeavour voyage, steps onto a Tahitian beach in 1769, hoping to discover Paradise.

02*20081014

The invention of the hot air balloon by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783 led to a spate of crowd-pulling spectacles, and the fierce rivalry of the first cross-Channel 'aeronauts'.

03*20081015

The impact of the discovery of electricity and how it affected the debate about the nature of life's vitality and the force of the soul.

04*20081016

Sir Humphry Davy's application of chemistry to solving the problem of deadly gas explosions in mines.

05 LAST*20081017

By the turn of the 19th century, the developments made in the fields of physics and chemistry had led to a growing debate about the role of science and the question of what to call those who practised it.