How did explorers navigate the world before the creation of meridians? What does astrology have to do with modern computer simulations? How did a 19th-century doctor end an epidemic and create epidemiology as we know it today?
In PredictionX, learners will journey through the history of predictions and how the desire to uncover future events lead to the creation of a new world of creative technologies beyond our imagination. Learn how ancient practices led to technological advancements, generated modern conveniences, and gave humanity a glimpse of our own future.
Courses under this program: Course 1: PredictionX: Lost Without Longitude
Explore the history of navigation, from stars to satellites.
Course 2: PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854
An in-depth look at the 1854 London cholera epidemic in Soho and its importance for the field of epidemiology.
In 1854, a cholera epidemic swept through the London neighborhood of Soho. In the course of about three weeks, over 600 people died. This incident was, tragically, not unusual in London or the rest of the 19th century world as a whole. The scourge of cholera seemed unstoppable and, even worse, unpredictable. But one doctor -- ignored by the scientific community at large -- set out to prove that he knew how this infectious disease was spread.
Join us for this one-week, immersive learning experience. We will explore John Snow’s London, from the streets of Soho to the dataset that helped create the map that changed our understanding of cholera, public health, and epidemiology forever.
This course features interactive tools including an interactive ArcGIS map of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak and a Timeline JS of John Snow’s investigation.
This module is a part of PredictionX, which looks at the history of attempts to predict the future. PredictionX courses will cover topics from omens and oracles in ancient civilizations to modern computer simulations.
Humans have always sought to know their own future, be it the destiny of an empire or an individual's fate. Across cultures and history, we find people trying to find their place in the Universe by attempting to gaze into the future.
Join us for this one-week, immersive learning experience as we explore “pre-scientific” prediction systems ranging from ancient Chinese bone burning to the Oracle of Delphi to modern astrology and tarot, with practitioners and Harvard faculty leading the journey. We will examine the details of over a dozen prediction systems as well as theoretical frameworks connecting them.
This module is a part of PredictionX, which examines our efforts to predict the future over all of recorded history. PredictionX courses will cover topics from omens and oracles in ancient civilizations, which this course discusses, to the evolution of the general approach to science most take today (which includes the course John Snow and the Cholera Outbreak of 1854) as well as modern computer simulations and the role they play in predicting our futures today.
Humans have been navigating for ages. As we developed the tools and techniques for determining location and planning a route, navigation grew into a practice, an art, and a science. Navigational skill has long been tied to commercial, economic, and military success. However, the ability to predict when and where one will reach a distant destination is more than just a key to empire-building — it’s often a matter of life and death.
Using video, text, infographics, and Worldwide Telescope tours, we will explore the tools and techniques that navigators have used, with a particular focus on the importance (and difficulty) of measuring longitude. Grounded in the principles of position, direction, speed, and time, we will learn the challenges of navigating without a GPS signal. We’ll learn how the Age of Exploration and the economic forces of worldwide trade encouraged scientific progress in navigation; and how Jupiter’s moons, lunar eclipses, and clockmakers all played a part in orienting history’s navigators.
Centuries of progress in navigation have helped put humans on the moon and spacecraft on a comet. This course will explain how we got there, and how that progress enables you to get where you’re going today.