History & Philosophy of Science Certificate Program
History and Philosophy of Science Certificate Program

HPS Videos

This selection of videos aims to share some of stories and findings of history and philosophy of science as conveyed by professors at UT Austin. The goal is to help promote what we do in HPS, and to introduce students to the sort of things we investigate. 

"Einstein, Relativity, and Myths"

In this talk, Prof. Alberto Martinez discusses several theories of how Albert Einstein formulated his theory of special relativity in 1905. He discusses myths about Einstein's first wife, the Swiss culture of precise clocks, and how Einstein was really influenced by the Scottish philosopher David Hume. This talk is based partly on his book: Kinematics: The Lost Origins of Einstein's Relativity.

"Did Ben Franklin Really Fly the Kite?"

In this talk, Prof. Alberto Martinez discusses the ridiculous and funny story of Franklin's insanely dangerous kite experiment. The talk is based on a chapter in his book: Science Secrets: The Truth about Darwin's Finches, Einstein's Wife, and Other Myths."

"The International History of Eugenics"

In this interview, Prof. Philippa Levine discusses the origins and development of eugenics, the "science of being well-born." She discusses its relations to gender, hygiene, and how governments tried to efficiently manage large populations, including prisoners, the sick, and the poor. The talk is based on a book she co-edited: The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics.


"Darwin and Religion, or the Lack of It"

In this talk, Prof. Bruce Hunt discusses Charles Darwin's life in relation to his changing beliefs about God. How and why did the initially devout Darwin gradually stray away from Christianity? Unfortunately the video ends prematurely, so you'll have to take the class the find out. 

"To Explain the World"

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg spoke about science and history, drawing from his book To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science. He discusses the development of scientific thought throughout the centuries in a conversation moderated by Peabody Award-winning journalist John Hockenberry. 

"Atomic Junction, Ghana"

This is the teaser for a forthcoming film by Prof. Abena Dove Osseo-Asare on Kwabenya, Ghana, popularly known as "Atomic Junction." What does it mean to have nuclear power in an African suburb? This research project will also result in a book.

"Science and Technology in the 19th Century"

In this talk, Prof. Bruce Hunt discusses the relations between science and technology, including especially the theories of heat, energy, and electricity. The talk is based on his book: Pursuing Power and Light: Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein

"One Class: Prisoners of Probability"

This is a video of a class, Perspectives on Science and Math, in which Prof. Alberto Martinez discussed risks, doors, and death by various kinds of accident. Students use an experiment to figure out how to win a car in a TV game show.  

"The Myth of Darwin's Finches in History of Science"

In this interview, Prof. Alberto Martinez discusses myths in the history of science. This talk is based on his book: Science Secrets: The Truth about Darwin's Finches, Einstein's Wife, and Other Myths.


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  • History and Philosophy of Science

    Director: Alberto Martinez
    University of Texas at Austin
    128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-475-9426