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How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson

Episode 3: Cold

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

For at least 100,000 years, humans have known how to make fire. But the skill to make cold is a very modern technique. Innovation expert Steven Johnson traces the unsung heroes of cold, like the doctor who was desperate to beat fever and created a refrigerator, the rookie heating engineer who discovered how to cool our homes and set off a mass migration to the desert, and the young man who cut ice from a lake and transported it thousands of miles. Steven sees how their inventions had far-reaching and unexpected consequences for creating the modern world. Show less


Steven Johnson
Executive Producer:
Jane Root
Executive Producer:
Peter Lovering
Executive Producer:
Michael Jackson
Julian Jones

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