The Roots of Progress

Videos: Joel Mokyr, Anton Howes, Noor Siddiqui

The Torch of Progress, Episodes 6–8

I’ve been remiss in posting the recordings of “The Torch of Progress”, the speaker series of Progress Studies For Young Scholars.

Joel Mokyr on “Attitudes, Aptitudes, and Progress: How the Modern Age Got Started”

Dr. Mokyr was kind enough to prepare an original talk for us on the “attitudes and aptitudes” that explain the Industrial Revolution.

For “attitudes”, he listed three significant examples:

For aptitudes, he stressed the importance of workmanship and materials.

The difference between Leonardo and Watt
Was that Watt had Wilkinson and Leonardo did not

In the Q&A I got to ask him something I’d been wondering ever since I read A Culture of Growth: How did Europeans maintain their enthusiasm for the Baconian program for 200 years while seeing very little in the way of practical results?

Noor Siddiqui, Thiel fellow and founder of Orchid Bioscience

I interviewed Noor about skipping college to do a startup under the Thiel Fellowship, then getting her degree after all before founding Orchid Bioscience, which uses genetics to improve fertility and reproductive health.

Anton Howes on inventors of the British Industrial Revolution

Anton and I had a great conversation about British inventors of the Industrial Revolution. Many of them invented across multiple fields, often with no formal training—but often directly inspired by the example of another inventor. Anton was historian in residence at the Royal Society for Arts, and recently published their official history: Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation.

Audio versions

If you prefer audio, find it on SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts.

Write to me on Letter

Get posts by email:
Become a patron

Get posts by email