The Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance
November 2, 9, 16, 30

Mario Affatigato, Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics

Mario Affatigato

Mario Affatigato
Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics

Led by Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics Mario Affatigato, this Thursday Forum will explore the liberal-arts birth of modern science. Starting with the Middle Ages, participants will explore the environment and the famous and forgotten scholars that made it possible for modern science to emerge.

The second session will focus on the European Renaissance, and will delve into the conditions that made it possible for Galileo to revolutionize science and Newton to flourish. And here is the crux of the investigation: how did the social, cultural, and economic factors of the Renaissance create the crucible in which science would be forged? What role did older polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci play? Was it important that Galileo had studied art and linear perspective?

The third week will deal with the growth and development of science as its own enterprise, including the birth of scientific societies. More importantly, attendees will explore the impact of science on the formation of the United States. Why were science and revolution often intertwined with the American Founding Fathers? Why did so many of them have Scottish teachers?

The last session will conclude with science being recognized as the engine that powered the Industrial Revolution, and discuss the growth of science as an engine of social mobility. It will also include a look at the current state of science around the world.