How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries [7:31]


Adam Savage tells the stories of the three great contributions to science, each of which began with a simple question, observation, or curiosity. A child named Richard Feynman watches a ball roll backward in his wagon when it is pulled. Eratosthenes estimates the circumference of the Earth to within 1% of its actual value in 200 BCE. Armand Fizeau takes the work of Galileo to another level when he figures out the speed of light in 1849. Savage brings science to life and challenges the audience to change the world through passionate curiosity.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do people laugh when Feynman’s father defines inertia?
  • How did commerce help Eratosthenes?  And how did he calculate the circumference of Earth?
  • What was Armand Fizeau’s specialty? Why is it important?
  • With all the complex technology used today, can a regular person contribute to science?
  • Why is curiosity important?
  • How can questions change the world?

Keywords: critical thinking, curiosity, history, science communication, scientific method, storytelling, TED


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