In Our Time

In Our Time

BBC Radio 4

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas

Categories: Education

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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the search for Longitude while at sea. Following efforts by other maritime nations, the British Government passed the Longitude Act in 1714 to reward anyone who devised reliable means for ships to determine their longitude at sea. Mariners could already calculate how far they were north or south, the Latitude, using the Pole Star, but voyaging across the Atlantic to the Caribbean was much less predictable as navigators could not be sure how far east or west they were, a particular problem when heading for islands. It took fifty years of individual genius and collaboration in Britain and across Europe, among astronomers, clock makers, mathematicians and sailors, for the problem to be resolved. With Rebekah Higgitt Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland Jim Bennett Keeper Emeritus at the Science Museum And Simon Schaffer Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge Producer: Simon Tillotson

Previous episodes

  • 582 - Longitude 
    Thu, 13 May 2021
  • 581 - The Second Barons' War 
    Thu, 06 May 2021
  • 580 - Ovid 
    Thu, 29 Apr 2021
  • 579 - The Franco-American Alliance 1778 
    Thu, 22 Apr 2021
  • 578 - Arianism 
    Thu, 15 Apr 2021
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