February 27th, 2014
Episode 359 of 515 episodes
The eye has been the subject of research for at least 2500 years. Some ancient philosophers believed that the eye enabled creatures to see by emitting its own light. The function of the eye became an area of particular interest to doctors in the Islamic Golden Age. In Renaissance Europe the work of thinkers including Kepler and Descartes revolutionised thinking about how the organ worked, but it took several hundred years for the eye to be thoroughly understood. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Patricia Fara, Senior Tutor of Clare College, University of Cambridge; William Ayliffe, Gresham Professor of Physic at Gresham College and Robert Iliffe, Professor of Intellectual History and History of Science at the University of Sussex.