How Galileo Moved Heaven and Earth

Alan Lowe / Exec Dir., American Museum of Science and Energy

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Most people know the story of Galileo.  In the Middle Ages, when the powerful Catholic Church controlled nearly everything, one man stepped forward to challenge an ignorant world. He insisted that the earth revolves around the sun, and for this heresy he was tried and imprisoned. His ordeal will be remembered forever as a symbol of the Church’s hostility toward science. That narrative is a bit simplistic, though. Join Alan Lowe as he builds on the prevailing narrative with the real facts of the Galileo affair. First, he places it in context: explaining the prevailing views of the universe before Galileo, the scientific basis of Galileo’s theories, and the motives of the major players in the case. Then, with attention to the many nuances, he pursues the historical evidence of Galileo’s trial and its aftermath — a story you may not have heard before.

Recommended Reading:

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos, by Dava Sobel

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by Dava Sobel

Galileo: Watcher of the Skies, by David Wooten

Alan Lowe

Exec. Dir., American Museum of Science and Energy

Alan C. Lowe is Executive Director of the American Museum of Science and Energy and Executive Director of the K-25 History Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Previously, he has served as interim Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, founding Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Lowe is also the co-host and historian of the popular podcast, American POTUS, all about the American presidency, and the new podcasts American SCOTUS (focusing on the United States Supreme Court) and American FLOTUS (focusing on America’s First Ladies).

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