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Galileo : watcher of the skies
Wootton, David
Adult Nonfiction QB36.G2 W66 2010

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From Library Journal:

Wootton (history, Univ. of York) here focuses on the intellectual life of Galileo Galilei, whom he calls the first true and modern scientist. Galileo's inventions, plus his adaptation of the telescope from a curiosity to a scientific instrument, enabled him to transform his observations into discoveries. Galileo, writes Wootton, also was the first to devise and defend the idea of "the fact," an essential scientific concept. Nevertheless, Galileo was flawed, for he was vain and self-destructive. His science was also sometimes flawed: for instance, he was wrong about the cause of the tides and the nature of comets. Showing his tendency not to live by others' rules, Galileo stubbornly left Venice, where he likely would have been protected from the Roman Inquisition. On trial for supporting Copernicanism (heliocentrism), he was convicted on grave suspicion of heresy and spent the rest of his life under house arrest, eventually going blind. VERDICT Wootton's stark but fair telling of Galileo's life story makes this biography a must-read for all students of the history of science.-Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado at Denver (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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