Came across a wonderful video today called Newton's Dark Secrets. You can view it here, and you can download it also, although you will need to download their video-player to view it.
The video makes the point that Newton wasn't quite the rational hero of science which text-books make him out to be.
However it does seem to offer a fairly comprehensive overview of his life, including a nice description of how Newton came up with Calculus.
Guillaume Martin called in to the school today to say hello. He's doing astrophysics with philosophy of science, which sounds wonderful. This is in Edinburgh.
As far as I know, Ireland is one of the very few countries in the western world which doesn't have a History of Science, Philosophy of Science or Sociology of Science department in any of our colleges or universities.
And now with our obsession of all things monetary it's unlikely that any will be created, at least in the near future.
Queens do have a History of Science department, led by Professor Peter Bowler, which has led to some pretty interesting findings in their specialist area, the history of evolution. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, do.
In case there's anyone out there who clings to the traditional notion that philosophy has nothing to do with science, here's are two wonderful cartoons from youtube which suggest otherwise.
Dr quantum's double-slit experiment here, and Mr Hell's science here
They're both about five minutes long.
(I need to figure out how to embed video links - I'll put it on my 'to do' list)