Genius Series: The most influential scientist of all time
Big Think has launched a line of apparel and goods that celebrate the life and work of four geniuses.
- Big Think has just launched its Genius Series of tees, sweatshirts, posters and more! Buy here.
- Our third genius is Sir Isaac Newton. His contributions to science are nearly impossible to overstate.
- Select Rush or Super Rush Delivery to get your order before Christmas Day!
If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.
– Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton is perhaps the most influential scientist of all time. He discovered and formulated the law of gravity, the classical laws of motion, the nature of color and optics, and invented calculus in his spare time. He invented the reflecting telescope, determined why the planets don't move in perfect circles, and he later went on to invent the little indentations around the side of coins when he was the Master of the Mint for Great Britain. His contributions to science are nearly impossible to overstate.
He's also the reason behind Neil deGrasse Tyson's classic meme.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: My man, Sir Isaac Newton
Here's how to have a healthier relationship with politics.
- "[T]he single healthiest thing most of us can do for our relationship with politics and for politics would be to deemphasize our connection to national politics and reemphasize our connection to state and local politics," says Ezra Klein.
- The media has become overwhelmingly nationalized. To improve your relationship with politics, and to improve politics in general, be intentional about your informational ecosystem.
- Klein recommends reconstructing your news diet so it doesn't overwhelmingly feature national politics, rather sign up for local newsletters, subscribe to your local paper, and get involved in community politics rather than yelling at cable TV or lashing out on Twitter.
Physicist Frank Wilczek proposes new methods of searching for extraterrestrial life.
- Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek thinks we are not searching for aliens correctly.
- Instead of sending out and listening for signals, he proposes two new methods of looking for extraterrestrials.
- Spotting anomalies in planet temperature and atmosphere could yield clues of alien life, says the physicist.
Laws can't stand by themselves. Professor James Stoner explains why.
- Can you divorce the rule of law from the virtue of justice? Immanuel Kant said the perfect constitution would work even among a nation of devils, provided they were intelligent devils.
- Professor James Stoner thinks the opposite is true. The right punishments don't lead people to behave well, we are also guided to make morally good decisions by our conscience—by our internal sense of justice.
- The ability of all people to pursue their own good is itself a kind of common good of a liberal society.
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