AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 10. HAD IV: Women, Alignments, Biography
Historical, Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[10.05] Star Messenger: Galileo at the Millennium

R. E. White (FCAD, Smith C.)

Smith College has recently established the Louise B. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute to foster interdisciplinary scholarship among the faculty. In the 1999-2000 academic year, the Kahn Institute is sponsoring a project entitled "Star Messenger: Galileo at the Millennium." The project will explore the impact of the astronomical discoveries of Galileo and his contemporaries on the Renaissance world-view and also use Galileo’s experience as a lens for examining scientific and cultural developments at the symbolic juncture represented by the year 2000. Seven faculty fellows and 10-12 student fellows will participate in a year-long colloquium pursuing these themes, aided by the participation of some five Visiting Fellows. The inaugural public event will be a symposium on the historical Galileo, with presentation by three noted scholars, each of whom will return to campus for a second meeting with the Kahn colloquium. Additional events will include an exhibit of prints, artifacts, and rare books related to Galileo and his time, an early music concert featuring music composed by Galileo’s father, and a series of other events sponsored by diverse departments and programs, all related to the broad themes of the Galileo project. The culminating events will be the premiere of a new music theater work, which will encapsulate the insights of the colloquium about human reactions to novel insights about the world, and a symposium presenting the research results of faculty and student fellows. The symposium will feature a capstone lecture by an visionary scholar projecting the implication of historical and contemporary trends into the future.

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