206 episodes

An examination of scientific inquiry through a discussion of the history and philosophy of the scientific endeavor.

The Scientific Odyssey Dr. Chad Davies

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 96 Ratings

An examination of scientific inquiry through a discussion of the history and philosophy of the scientific endeavor.

    Uncharted Waters

    Uncharted Waters

    Wherein we prepare to once again slip our lines in search of new knowledge.  We discuss the effects of modern technologies and what is gained and lost in their use.

    • 31 min
    Defining Space

    Defining Space

    Wherein we look at mapping as a human activity and begin our exploration of the evidence of the earliest maps known.

    • 1 hr
    Dead Reckoning

    Dead Reckoning

    In this episode, we discuss the development and use of basic navigational tools and how they lead to map knowledge in ancient cultures.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Emerging From Connections

    Emerging From Connections

    We explore the connection between maps and other cultural ideas and technologies such as language, writing and time to see how the physical artifacts arise out of abstract conceptual constructs.

    • 43 min
    The Centered Universe

    The Centered Universe

    In this episode we look at cartography in the ancient cultures around the Mediterranean Basin with an eye to understanding the role and purpose of maps and mapping.

    • 45 min
    Ocean Around a Wine-Darkened Sea

    Ocean Around a Wine-Darkened Sea

    Beginning with Homer's Iliad, we look at the development of Greek geographical models of the Earth through the Classical Period.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

JE/JE ,

Absolutely spectacular podcast!!!!

If you are at all interested in the history of science, science itself, or the people who have pursued science over the last couple of millennia, I literally cannot recommend this podcast highly enough. If they allowed 6 stars I’d have rated it thus.

Dr. Davies does a phenomenal job of placing scientific advances in their historical context and of explaining the scientific principles that underlie our understanding of the modern world. His expositions of the science itself are clear and incredibly understandable, especially given that the podcast forum is, of course, limited to audio-only explanations.

His research is breathtakingly complete and serves to place the long succession of scientific advances in a comprehensible historical context. I not only end up learning much about the history of science but his context-setting serves to teach a fair amount of pure history in the process.

I also greatly enjoy the biographical interludes which he intersperses throughout the episodes. I have shared several of them (e.g. the episode on Marie Curie) with friends who don’t have quite my level of interest in science but enjoy history and biography.

His narrative voice is compelling - infusing drama where appropriate and also a good dose of understated humor as well. His personality seems to come through and you end up “liking” him very much as your podcast host. For all the complexity and the broad sweep of the topics, it feels more like you’re sitting at a bar with a favorite professor talking about great subjects.

I listen to a variety of podcasts, ranging from current events, history, travel, and pure science. But I keep migrating back to The Scientific Odyssey; it has become my “go-to” podcast.

I do have one request for Dr. Davies…I have a strong background in Chemistry and Physics but spent my career as a Geneticist. I would dearly love to see him expand the subject matter to encompass biology - after all, biology is certainly a critical part of the history of science, is highly relevant to our lives, and has its share of fascinating topics that deserve exploration!

I seriously cannot recommend it enough. Absolutely phenomenal. Drop what you’re doing and go listen!

Anth0711 ,

Quality

This is a well researched, quality podcast on all issues science. Many previous reviews have set forth the podcast strengths.

My only concern is the podcast is so fact intensive that the storylines become lost, and dare I say even a bit tedious.

Dgerard2000 ,

Review

One of my top 5 podcasts. I’ve listened to every episode so far. I also appreciate the musical interludes. Excellent musicians.
Only complaint is the mispronunciation of some of the names of giants of science and philosophy. I wouldn’t care (I’m 71), but younger listeners might get stuck with mispronouncing these names. One especially egregious example was the pronunciation of Kurt Goedel. His last name is a homophone of a woman’s girdle.
In German, the first e is removed and the o has 2 dots above and pronounced “er”. Anyone who has had a course on the “Incompleteness Theorem” should know this.
Sorry to be picky, I’ve really enjoyed and been informed by your podcast.