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For thousands of years we have wrestled with the great questions of existence. Who are we? What is the world made of? How did we get here? The quest to answer these is the story of science. Medical journalist Michael Mosley traces the often unpredictable path we have taken. From recreating a famous alchemist’s experiment, to following in Galileo’s footsteps, and putting himself in the hands of a hypnotist, Michael unpicks how science has changed the way we see ourselves, and the way we see our world.

It is a tale of courage and of fear, of hope and disaster, of persistence and success. It interweaves great forces of history – revolutions, voyages of discovery and artistic movements – with practical, ingenious inventions and the dogged determination of experimenters and scientists. This is the story of how history made science and how science made history, and how the ideas which emerged made the modern world.