Hugh Aldersey-Williams: The Making of Science in Europe

Oct 07, 01:22 PM
If you know the name of Christiaan Huygens at all, it'll probably be as the man who gave his name to a space probe. But Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of Dutch Light: Christaan Huygens and the Making of Science in Europe, joins this week's Book Club podcast to argues that this half-forgotten figure was the most important scientist between Galileo and Newton. He tells a remarkable story of advances in optics, geometry, probability, mathematics, astronomy - as well as the invention of the pendulum clock and the discovery of the rings of Saturn - against the backdrop of a turbulent post-Reformation Europe and the beginnings of an international scientific community. Plus, we identify an early-modern prototype for Dominic Cummings in the court of Louis XIV.