Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630). Although he is overshadowed today by Isaac Newton and Galileo, he is considered by many to be one of the greatest scientists in history. The three laws of planetary motion Kepler developed transformed people's understanding of the Solar System and laid the foundations for the revolutionary ideas Isaac Newton produced later. Kepler is also thought to have written one of the first works of science fiction. However, he faced a number of challenges. He had to defend his mother from charges of witchcraft, he had few financial resources and his career suffered as a result of his Lutheran faith.
Professor of History at the University of York
Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College
Associate Professor in the Department of History at Swansea University
Producer: Victoria Brignell.
LINKS AND FURTHER READING
Kepler's Trial: An Opera - based on Ulinka Rublack's book The Astronomer & the Witch (with short films about Kepler's work as a scientist and the religious, political and personal crises he faced.)
Max Caspar (trans. C. Doris Hellman), Kepler (first published 1959; Dover Publications, 2003)
Kitty Ferguson, Tycho and Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership That Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens (Walker & Company, 2002)
Johannes Kepler, (trans. C. Hardie), The Six-Cornered Snowflake (Oxford University Press, 2014)
John North, Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology (University of Chicago Press, 2008)
Ulinka Rublack, The Astronomer & the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for His Mother (Oxford University Press, 2015)
James R. Voelkel, Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy (Oxford University Press, 1999)
|Interviewed Guest||David Wootton|
|Interviewed Guest||Ulinka Rublack|
|Interviewed Guest||Adam Mosley|