Coe Thursday Forum focuses on The Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-10-19 07:10:00 - General

Mario Affatigato, Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics
Mario Affatigato
Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics

"The Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance" will be the focus of the Coe College Thursday Forum series, Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 30. Led by Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics Mario Affatigato, this Thursday Forum will explore the liberal-arts birth of modern science. 

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. An optional luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

Starting with the Middle Ages in the first week, 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.

The Coe College Thursday Forum Series

Coe College Thursday Forum courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8623.

For the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year, the Thursday Forum schedule includes:

  • "Diversity in Dance: The Dieman-Bennett Dance Studio in Cedar Rapids" – Dec. 7
  • "Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre - Behind the Scenes with 'Turandot'" – Jan. 18
  • "A New Arsenal: American Art during World War I" – Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
  • "Two Scenically Beautiful Hikes in the English Countryside" – March 1
  • "Songs of Protest and Resistance" – March 8, 15, 22, 29
  • "Saints, Sinners and Secularists: Religion and Politics on the World Stage" – April 5, 12, 19, 26