Galileo and the Church: Old Myths, Historical Realities, and Modern Relevance

Lawrence M. Principe, Johns Hopkins University

Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science and The Franklin Institute

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 7:00pm

Franklin Theater, The Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia

Time: 7:00 p.m. Place: Franklin Theater, The Franklin Institute Directions This lecture is free and open to the public. The Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibit at The Franklin will remain open on Tuesday evening from 5-7pm with discounted tickets available for those attending this lecture. The encounter between Galileo and the Church is one of the most recognizable events in the history of science. But thanks to its use and abuse by generations of polemicists, it is also one of the most frequently misrepresented. The events are complex, the characters many, the context crucial, and the issues in play vastly more interesting and profound than the simplistic notion of the event as a cut-and-dried “conflict between science and religion” would allow. This lecture will explore not only the soap-opera complexity of the events themselves, but also the serious and intriguing problems and claims about science posed by each side, some of which remain unresolved to this day. Lawrence M. Principe is Professor of the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, and Professor of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. Professor Principe holds two doctorates: a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Johns Hopkins University. In 1999, the Carnegie Foundation chose Professor Principe as the Maryland Professor of the Year, and in 1998 he received the Templeton Foundation’s award for courses dealing with science and religion. In 2004, Professor Principe was the recipient of the first Francis Bacon Prize by the California Institute of Technology, awarded to an outstanding scholar whose work has had substantial impact on the history of science, the history of technology, or historically-engaged philosophy of science. This lecture is presented in conjunction with the Franklin Institute's exhibit "Galileo, the Medici, and & the Age of Astronomy."