In Our Time: 25 Pioneers in the History of Science

In Our Time: 25 Pioneers in the History of Science

A BBC Radio 4 Collection


Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss 25 scientific pioneers who have shaped the development of science over 500 years

'Exemplifies what Radio 4 is all about, and what makes it world class' The Guardian

One of the bedrocks of Radio 4, In Our Time has entertained and fascinated millions of listeners since it was first broadcast in 1998. Each week, Melvyn Bragg and a panel of leading academics discuss the big ideas that form the intellectual agenda of our age, traversing an eclectic spectrum of topics from the alphabet to Absolute Zero.

This specially curated collection introduces us to 25 of the best minds who have shaped the fields of science over the past five centuries. Beginning with an introductory episode, 'The Scientist', it encompasses pioneers such as mathematicians Blaise Pascal, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Ada Lovelace and Emmy Noether; astronomers Johannes Kepler and William and Caroline Herschel; chemists Rosalind Franklin and Dorothy Hodgkin; and physicists Ernest Rutherford and Paul Dirac. Among the other famous names featured are Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Alan Turing and the Curies, as well as the great naturalist Charles Darwin, who is the subject of a 4-part special devoted to his life and work.

Science students, In Our Time fans and lovers of learning will relish these captivating, wide-ranging discussions, giving us unparalleled insight into the remarkable individuals whose ideas and inventions have transformed our world.

Production credits
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
Produced by Victoria Brignell, Thomas Morris, John Goudie and Simon Tillotson

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the following dates:

The Scientist 24 October 2002
Johannes Kepler 29 December 2016
Pascal 19 September 2013
Robert Boyle 12 June 2014
Emilie du Châtelet 4 February 2021
Lamarck and Natural Selection 26 December 2003
William and Caroline Herschel 11 November 2021
Pierre-Simon Laplace 8 April 2021
John Dalton 27 October 2016
Humboldt 28 September 2006
Carl Friedrich Gauss 30 November 2017
George and Robert Stephenson 12 April 2018
Michael Faraday 24 December 2015
Ada Lovelace 6 March 2008
Maxwell 2 October 2003
Darwin: On the Origins of Charles Darwin 5 January 2009
Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle 6 January 2009
Darwin: On the Origin of Species 7 January 2009
Darwin: Life After Origins 8 January 2009
Louis Pasteur 18 May 2017
Pitt-Rivers 28 February 2013
Thomas Edison 9 December 2010
Rutherford 19 February 2004
Emmy Noether 24 January 2019
The Curies 26 March 2015
Alan Turing 15 October 2020
Rosalind Franklin 22 February 2018
Paul Dirac 5 March 2020
Dorothy Hodgkin 3 October 2019

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

About the author

Melvyn Bragg

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