26 Jun 2010

Galileo Between Science, Science Studies and Science Fiction

Submitted by Kimon

On May 6, Kim Stanley Robinson participated in an event at UCSD on Galileo: "Galileo Between Science, Science Studies and Science Fiction" -- very fitting with the themes of his latest novel Galileo's Dream!

Participants were Mario Biagioli, history professor and scientifc revolutions expert; Sheldon Brown, visual artist; Brian Keating, astrophysicist; and Kim Stanley Robinson.

In his recent book, Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson creates a portrait of Galileo's life in which he combines historic research with science fiction tropes to show the impact and challenges of paradigm shifts and their very human origins. One of the sources for this work is the research of Mario Biagioli, who will discuss the importance of Robinson's approach to historians of science and interrelationships between science studies and science fiction. Additionally, UCSD Professor of Physics Brian Keating will describe his observations of the early universe made with a version of Galileo's refractor telescope, which is sensitive to radio-waves, instead of visible light. This telescope located in Antarctica, has made ultra-sensitive images of the afterglow of the Big Bang. He will show images of the early universe as well as data from observations of Jupiter made with a new UCSD telescope, and will discuss techniques to peer deeper into the universe, standing on Galileo's shoulders. All will be framed by films of high resolution images produced by Sheldon Brown of the four Jovian moons discovered by Galileo some 400 years ago. This event is organized by Don Wayne, Provost of Revelle College. Co-Sponsored by: California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), The Council of Provosts, Department of Literature, Division of Arts and Humanities, Division of Physical Sciences, Revelle College.

The recorded panel has been posted online, at Calit2 and at YouTube and lasts for 2h 10min. Here it is below for your enjoyment: