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Johannes Kepler

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

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.
David Wootton
Professor of History at the University of York

Ulinka Rublack
Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College

Adam Mosley
Associate Professor in the Department of History at Swansea University

Producer: Victoria Brignell.

Available now

49 minutes

Last on

Thu 29 Dec 2016 21:30


David Wootton at the University of York

Ulinka Rublack at the University of Cambridge

Adam Mosley at Swansea University

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.)

‘The great Martian catastrophe and how Kepler fixed it’ by Owen Gingerich – Physics Today

Johannes Kepler – Wikipedia



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)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest David Wootton
Interviewed Guest Ulinka Rublack
Interviewed Guest Adam Mosley
Producer Victoria Brignell


  • Thu 29 Dec 2016 09:00
  • Thu 29 Dec 2016 21:30

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