The Longitude Prize 2014

Science Teaching Library

John Harrison - Longitude Prize 1714 Winner John Harrison – Longitude Prize 1714 Winner. (Source: Wikipedia)

It’s not every day I write a post for a specific programme to watch for the Science TV and Radio guide, however as I collated the programmes at the weekend I became intrigued by Horizon on Thursday (22th May) evening which was about a reboot of the Longitude Prize.

The Longitude Prize has been interest of mine ever since I read the brilliant book Longitude by Dava Sobel about the prize and the man who won it, John Harrison. The controversy and the fighting over the right to claim the prize are a fascinating tale of the competitive drive that prizes like this can instil. But the huge advances in scientific knowledge and exploration simply because accurate timekeeping at sea was now possible are not to be taken lightly.

Just one example: Captain James Cook, who is another scientific hero of mine, confirmed Edmund…

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