Galileo: And the Science Deniers

S. & S. May 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781501194733. $28. SCI
Author and astrophysicist Livio (Brilliant Blunders) revisits the life of astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), focusing on intellectual freedom and the pursuit of measurable and testable knowledge. Though much has been written on the famous thinker and observer, Livio enhances his narrative with clear, accessible explanations of Galileo’s experiments from mechanics to astronomy. Fascinating details include information about one of Galileo’s other interests: casting horoscopes. Livio compares the Inquisition’s persecution of Galileo for supporting the Copernican model (the earth revolves around the sun) to modern movements to deny the existence of man-made climate change. Galileo’s writings are examined alongside the thoughts of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, along with other scientists discussing the roles of science and religion.
VERDICT An extremely readable biography paired well with analysis of current scientific thinking and controversies. For all fans of popular science.

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