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The Empire of Reason

   2017    History
Al-Khalili travels to northern Syria to discover how, a thousand years ago, the great astronomer and mathematician Al-Biruni estimated the size of the earth to within a few hundred miles of the correct figure. He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry. In Cairo, he tells the story of the extraordinary physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who helped establish the modern science of optics and proved one of the most fundamental principles in physics - that light travels in straight lines. Prof Al-Khalili argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn't really exist before.
Series: Science and Islam

The Day Pictures Were Born

   2006    Art
Dr Nigel Spivey explores how art influences life by tracing the development of the image from cave paintings to our modern obsession with images. Dr. Spivey begins his investigation by travelling to the Cave of Altamira near the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain, where in 1879 a young girls exclamation of 'Papa, look, oxen!' to her father, local amateur archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, is explained to have meant that Maria had just become the first modern human to set eyes on the first gallery of prehistoric paintings ever to be discovered.
Series: How Art Made the World

The Art of Persuasion

   2006    Culture
Dr Nigel Spivey shows how The political power of art was discovered by kings and emperors in the ancient world, It was these leaders who first used imagery to manipulate their subjects, And today our modern politicians are exploiting those same visual strategies, This is the story of how those ancient leaders created techniques of visual persuasion so powerful they've still got a hold on us today.
Series: How Art Made the World

Once Upon a Time

   2006    Art
The power of visual storytelling is not a modern phenomenon, feature films today are using techniques developed way back in the distant past. For thousands of years, artists grappled with ways to bring their stories alive, to engage their audience. This is the story of how our ancient ancestors made the discoveries that have given films such a hold over our imaginations.
Series: How Art Made the World

To Death and Back

   2006    Art
Every day of our lives, we are bombarded by thousands of different images, images which affect us in countless different ways. But of all these there's one particular kind of image whose power is uniquely mesmerising, because while it terrifies us somehow it also comforts. But although it can manipulate us, it also reassures, It's the image of death.
Series: How Art Made the World
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Medicine
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Neanderthal
Neanderthal

      History
Art of Eternity
Art of Eternity

   2007    Art
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature
In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven

   2009    Art
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology