Monthly Archives: May 2011

The astronomical revolution didn’t start here!

In the usual collection of myths that passes for history of science in our culture the astronomical revolution (and the so-called scientific revolution for that matter) is considered to have started with the publication of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus in Nürnberg … Continue reading

Posted in Astrology, astronomy, Early Scientific Printing, History, mathematics | 1 Comment

Nations, nationality, nationalism, history and historiography

Was Boscovich Croation or Italian? Copernicus Polish or German? Al-Haytham Persian or Iraqi ? Gemma Frisius Belgian or Dutch? For some critical thoughts on the illegitimacy of these questions and the incorrectness of the usual answers go read here

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Updates from Vintage Space

A lot has been going on over at Vintage Space in the last few weeks. Here’s a brief recap of recent articles. (Left, President Kennedy and Wernher von Braun with a model Saturn IV rocket.) On April 12, 1961, Yuri … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science, Space Exploration | 3 Comments

A maths book from a painter

The first book of mathematics to be printed and published in German was writen by a painter who is 540 years old today.

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A Croatian Polymath

Join me in wishing the 18th century Jesuit polymath Roger Joseph Boscovich a happy 300th birthday

Posted in astronomy, History, mathematics, Physics | Leave a comment

Season of the Witch

What do witches have to do with analytical geometrical curves? To find out go here

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War Geology

The First World War was initiated with a fighting spirit inspired by the classic battles man against man, but soon the soldiers realized that the warfare of the 20th century had reached a potential of destruction never seen in the … Continue reading

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Across the pond

I am currently in the US, researching collections, talking to curators and taking part in discussions regarding the National Maritime Museum’s planned 2014 exhibition on Longitude. There are some fantastic collections of scientific instruments in the US, some of which … Continue reading

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How to use a microscope

The regular reader of this blog (are you still there?) will have long ago realised that I have a genuine fondness for polymaths and that I like to promote the memory of obscure contributors to the evolution of the science. … Continue reading

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The house where Emmy lived

Yesterday Paul Halpern at PACHS posted a nice short piece with a photo of the grave stone of the German mathematician Emmy Noether at Bryn Mawr College. As I wrote in an earlier post I (almost) live in Emmy’s home … Continue reading

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