Galileo and the Science Deniers

Speaker:Mario Livio
Time:12:30 - 13:30
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)

Galileo Galilei is one of those larger-than-life heroes of our intellectual history. There aren’t many scientists, after all, whose lives and achievements inspired plays (such as Brecht’s Life of Galileo), scores of poems, or an opera (by Philip Glass). For Albert Einstein, Galileo was “the father of modern physics—indeed, of modern science altogether.”

I will trace Galileo’s fascinating life as I will examine his monumental achievements in astronomy, mechanics, and the development of the scientific method. I will also analyze his complex and tragic interaction with the Catholic Church, which had eventually led to Galileo being denounced a suspected heretic by the Inquisition.

I will emphasize Galileo’s relevance to a world in which anti-science attitudes have proliferated, and where there is a widening schism between the humanities and the sciences. Galileo’s life serves as a potent reminder of the importance of freedom of thought.