The Day the Universe Changed

dtu

The Day the Universe Changed is a 1985 BBC television series, which aired in the United States on PBS. Written and presented by James Burke, the series postulates a very simple; yet very powerful idea that when what a society knows changes, for them the universe changes. Thirty-five years on, the main theme and its presentation hold up. Burke walks through the advancement of Science and Technology throughout Western Civilization, starting with the Greeks and ending with what was then the present. Along the way, he highlights the main theme, and concludes that increasingly we live in a world in which change occurs quicker than our ability to understand it and is the only constant.

Burke’s argument is one of the main reasons I became a historian. Viewing the series on PBS when it originally aired in the United States, the argument and its presentation made it lasting impression, which is why it has importance today. Available for free at archive.org, the series has had the impact that James Burke intended.

Below are links to the programs in the series:

  1. The Way We Are
  2. In the Light of the Above
  3. Point of View
  4. A Matter of Fact
  5. Infinitely Reasonable
  6. Credit Where It’s Due
  7. What the Doctor Ordered
  8. Fit to Rule
  9. Making Waves
  10. Worlds Without End

 

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