Watch Richard Feynman in Conversation, 1973

United States Department of Energy // Public Domain
United States Department of Energy // Public Domain / United States Department of Energy // Public Domain

In 1973, physicist and master explainer Richard Feynman visited England on vacation. At the time he was a physics professor at CalTech, and his English wife and son joined him on the trip. A local TV channel produced a 36-minute short film featuring Feynman called Take the World from Another Point of View.

The film is classic Feynman-as-explainer. He wheels about in conversation with astrophysicist Fred Hoyle (who coined the phrase "Big Bang"), discussing questions big and small. At one point Feynman discusses how his branch of science, physics, is treated differently from other branches—and how perhaps that isn't right. Here's that snippet:

It is interesting that in many other sciences there is a historical question, like in geology—the question of how did the earth evolve to the present condition. In biology—how did the various species evolve to get to be the way they are? But the one field which has not admitted any evolutionary question is physics. Here are the laws, we say. Here are the laws today. How did they get that way?—we don't even think of it that way. We think: It has always been like that, the same laws—and we try to explain the universe that way. So it might turn out that they are not the same all the time and that there is a historical, evolutionary question.

Enjoy the video below, or read a transcript if you prefer text.