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Greek Guide to Greatness – Episode 8: Science

What allows science to flourish? Today’s American physicians take the Hippocratic oath, named for Hippocrates, the so-called father of medicine; grade-school students learn the Pythagorean theorem, named for Pythagoras; and scientists everywhere are forming hypotheses to try to understand the natural orders of our world. If you’re at all into science, you should thank the ancient Greeks. But why was science able to take off there? In the 5thcentury BC, Greeks offered their citizens the freedoms required for the sciences to emerge by freeing themselves from the dogmas that gobble up curiosity…from the prison of thought that says any one person has it all figured out. Perhaps we should be reminded that Socrates was considered to be the wisest man in Greece because he knew just how much he didn’t know. An open mindset may be more important now than ever before.


The National Hellenic Society is an association of visionary Greek American leaders dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and promoting Greece’ s rich heritage with an emphasis on the next generation. The organization’s innovative programs are designed to engage, and inspire its members, families, and communities.

National Geographic and the National Hellenic Society have produced a companion digital series, The Greek Guide to Greatness, that’s available on the PBS and National Geographic websites in addition to below.


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