Galileo: Fighting in the Dawn of Modern Science
The Eugenides Foundation pays its own tribute to the great mathematician and astronomer
Galileo Galilei is one of the most important figures in the history of science. The Eugenides Foundation pays its own tribute to the great mathematician and astronomer with the creation of the documentary “Galileo: The Battle in the Dawn of Modern Science“.
Renaissance Italy was one of the most important stations for the period that historians call the “Scientific Revolution“. This documentary presents the life and work of Galileo, the controversies and the social context in which it emerged. Galileo used a new method in natural philosophy and astronomy, based in mathematics and experiment, as well as in social and political alliances. The truth of the mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei came into conflict with the truth of the most important philosophers of the 17th century and this conflict was central to a number of changes.
Galileo Galilei is one of the most renowned thinkers in the history of science and a highly emblematic figure of the 17th century. This was the era when modern science emerged. This documentary narrates the life of a man who turned his telescope towards the heavens and observed things that no one had seen before. His observations, experiments and mathematics paved a new method for the study of nature. However, the basic argument of this documentary is that Galileo succeeded not only because of his philosophical and mathematical achievements, but also because of his carefully chosen alliances. One of the defining characteristics of Florentine society throughout the centuries was a deeply-rooted system of patronage networks. Galileo benefited from these networks as he secured the patronage of Cosimo II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscan, and constructed for himself a novel social and professional identity. As his fame and recognition grew, Galileo had intense confrontations with the philosophers in matters such as buoyancy, motion, free fall and some of his observations (the sun spots). The Aristotelian philosophers argued that all these were matters of philosophy, not mathematics. They never accepted Galileo as a natural philosopher because philosophers held a higher professional position than mathematicians. In the face of Galileo they saw a mathematician who tried to remove their philosophical status, exploiting the professional benefits arising from the title that Cosimo gave him. Through these confrontations and political pressure the Aristotelians forced the Catholic Church to judge the work of Galileo. The trial and conviction of Galileo was the outcome of exhausting social and political battles and not the result of an opposition between science and religion. The devout Catholic Galileo never wanted to replace the Bible and the Scriptures with a new science (after all, science did not exist at that time). However, Galileo was forced to kneel inside the church of Maria Sopra Minerva and repudiate the work and views of a lifetime. This documentary tells the story of a man who never retreated and had the persistence and courage to vindicate his intellectual identity.