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Galileo: Lessons from a Great Scientist

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2083
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
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Galileo Galilei is one of the larger-than-life heroes of 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. For Albert Einstein, Galileo was “the father of modern physics—indeed, of modern science altogether.”

Astrophysicist Mario Livio traces this fascinating life as he examines Galileo’s monumental achievements in astronomy, mechanics, and the development of the scientific method. He also analyzes his complex and tragic interaction with the Catholic Church, which eventually led to Galileo being denounced a suspected heretic by the Inquisition.

Livio emphasizes Galileo’s relevance to a world in which anti-science attitudes have proliferated, as reflected in science deniers in key governmental positions, an atmosphere of conflict between science and religion, and a widening schism between the humanities and the sciences. For him, Galileo’s life serves as a potent reminder of the importance of freedom of thought, and though his richly intricate personality was grounded in late-Renaissance Italy, the impact of his enduring contributions to science and thought spans time and cultures.

Livio is an internationally renowned astrophysicist and bestselling author. His new book, Galileo and the Science Deniers (Simon & Schuster), is available for sale.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.