How do we know how hormones work? (BBC Focus)

Sept 2015// A history of the discovery of hormones for BBC Focus, featuring lots of people doing weird things with testicles.


It’s a really interesting story. For thousands of years, man has unwittingly exploited hormones in farming and medicine. Yet until the 20th century scientists had no idea that hormones existed, let alone that they control the function of all our organs and influence our mood, metabolism and growth.

It took years of controversial and crude Victorian-era experiments to change the prevailing wisdom that the nervous system controlled everything in the body. But by the 1950s, simple treatments involving hormones like insulin were saving millions of lives a year.

BBC Focus doesn’t put its longer features online, but the issue will be in shops throughout October and it’s great.