Category Archives: Astrology

Pseudo-science, proto-science, pre-science or just plain science?

Having posted my recent article on the history of pseudo-science and science I went off to bed. Whilst I was wrapped in the arms of Morpheus an interesting little debate was taking place on my twitter stream. One of the participants thought … Continue reading

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The pocket diary: A great Renaissance invention

The other day Kate Morant, author of the interesting Halley’s Log Blog, tweeted the following question on my twitter stream: Help! My iPhone diary’s become corrupted. By month ok, but by list all the apptmts randomly reassigned to diff dates. Any … Continue reading

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The other professor of mathematics at Wittenberg

Anybody who knows a bit about the history of astronomy in the early modern period or who has wasted their time and money reading Dava Sobel’s lasted perversion of the history of science will know that Copernicus was finally persuaded to publish … Continue reading

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It’s silly questions time again: “Was Newton a scientist or a sorcerer?

Back in May the Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones asked, “Is Leonardo da Vinci a great artist or a great scientist?” making, as I pointed out at the time, a serious category mistake. Something must be in the drinking water at the … Continue reading

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The Virgin Queen was in reality John Dee in drag.

The rumbling you can hear in the background is the HISTSCI HULK playing skittles with some skyscrapers. He’s all riled up and wants to place a big green foot in Carole Jahme’s butt and propel her into publishing purgatory. What … Continue reading

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Observing transit history in the media

I have a post up on the Guardian’s ‘Notes and Theories’ science blog. It’s called What they didn’t tell you about the transit of Venus. ‘They’ are all the potted transit histories that I’ve read/heard/watched over the last few weeks. What … Continue reading

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Reformation, revolutions and social media

Can one draw parallels between the use of the printing press during the Reformation and the use of the Internet during the Arab Spring? What role did cheap astrological pamphlets play in the Astronomical Revolution? For some thoughts on these … Continue reading

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An auspicious day to found an observatory

The Royal Observatory has several possible birthdays. I have, for example, seen it given as 4 March or 22 June 1675. The first is the date of Charles II’s Royal Warrant that ordered the Board of Ordnance to pay for … Continue reading

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Mythologizing John Dee

A short rant about the abuse of the history of science in theatre advertising and science journalism relating to Doctor Dee

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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

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