Night Science

Isaac Newton and a new kind of science

April 01, 2024 Itai Yanai & Martin Lercher Season 4 Episode 17
Isaac Newton and a new kind of science
Night Science
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Night Science
Isaac Newton and a new kind of science
Apr 01, 2024 Season 4 Episode 17
Itai Yanai & Martin Lercher

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Night Science – coming up with novel ways to interpret the physical world – is as old as philosophy. In contrast, Day Science – empirical evidence as the sole argument for truth – was invented only in the 1700s, championed by the groundbreaking work of Isaac Newton. In the April 1st, 2024, episode of the Day Science Podcast, Sir Isaac looks back on his solitary life, revealing how he came up with science’s counterintuitive, narrow, and shallow concept of explanation. Sir Isaac touches on the infamous apple incident as a metaphor for inspiration, and he reflects on how his diverse interests ranging from mathematics to alchemy to theology, balanced and inspired each other.  He also expresses regret that he tried to unravel the mysteries of alchemy – or chemistry, as we would call it – through mystical and allegorical thinking, rather than through the new scientific method that proved so fruitful with his mathematical physics.

This episode could not have been recorded without Sir Isaac Newton speaking through the voice of a medium who knows his life and works in exquisite detail: Prof. Michael Strevens, from New York University.

​​For more information on Night Science, visit https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/night-science .

Show Notes

Send us a Text Message.

Night Science – coming up with novel ways to interpret the physical world – is as old as philosophy. In contrast, Day Science – empirical evidence as the sole argument for truth – was invented only in the 1700s, championed by the groundbreaking work of Isaac Newton. In the April 1st, 2024, episode of the Day Science Podcast, Sir Isaac looks back on his solitary life, revealing how he came up with science’s counterintuitive, narrow, and shallow concept of explanation. Sir Isaac touches on the infamous apple incident as a metaphor for inspiration, and he reflects on how his diverse interests ranging from mathematics to alchemy to theology, balanced and inspired each other.  He also expresses regret that he tried to unravel the mysteries of alchemy – or chemistry, as we would call it – through mystical and allegorical thinking, rather than through the new scientific method that proved so fruitful with his mathematical physics.

This episode could not have been recorded without Sir Isaac Newton speaking through the voice of a medium who knows his life and works in exquisite detail: Prof. Michael Strevens, from New York University.

​​For more information on Night Science, visit https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/night-science .