In the documentary, Armand Leroi traces Aristotle's self-exile to the Greek island of Lesvos at the Gulf of Kalloni or Bay of Kalloni which once was known as the Lagoon of Ancient Pyrra. The Ancient city of Pyrrha currently Achladeri Lesvos sits to the east of the Bay of Kalloni. It is a shallow rich wetland which hosts a vast array of aquatic and avian life, including flamingos, porpoises, dolphins, and seals. Especially renowned for its yield of sardines and salt. He left Plato's Academy and stepped down as the schools headship, Aristotle spent many years with his friend Theophrastus at the Pyrrha lagoon, now the Gulf of Kalloni. At the lagoon he studied animal life: his observations formed material for the very first treatises ever written on the subject of biology or Aristotle's biology, namely his books on the "history, parts, movement, progression, and generation" of animals. His work is the precursor to Linnaean taxonomy which is explored and discussed in the documentary.
Leroi explores how Aristotle founded biology. He points out that although scientists and Aristotle have not always been in agreement, Aristotle made discoveries that were ignored till centuries later.
He demonstrates what Aristotle must have seen when he opened a chicken's egg to see the embryo inside, in so doing becoming the first person to describe the embryological origin of a living thing. The programme was first broadcast on BBC Four at 9:00pm on Sunday 17 January 2011.
In 2014, Leroi published a book on the same subject, The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science.
- Leroi M. A.. 2014. The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science. Penguin Books
- Leroi, Armand Marie (Presenter) (3 May 2011). "Aristotle's Lagoon: Embryo Inside a Chicken's Egg". BBC. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- BBC 4: Aristotle's Lagoon
- Leroi, Armand Marie (2014). The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science. Viking. ISBN 978-0670026746.
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