New York University hosts “The History of the Telescope: Exploring the Boundaries Between Science and Culture,” a conference celebrating the 400th anniversary of its invention, on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 at 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor (between East 5th and East 6th Streets).
The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. For more information, call 212.998.2190. For a complete schedule of sessions, click here.
During the two-day conference, leading scholars will explore the interfaces between the humanities and social sciences, and science and technology, discussing how the instrument’s use led not only to a multitude of discoveries and the development of new branches within the physical sciences, but also raised questions about the role and purpose of humanity in the universe.
Far from being just a crucial scientific instrument, the telescope since Galileo has served as a potent symbol of aristocratic patronage as well as a genuine threat to received ideas about how the heavens work. From the 18th century to the present, it has conferred power and prestige on those who used it to redefine the origins of the universe.
The Saturday talks will conclude with internationally acclaimed actors Jay Sanders’ and Fritz Weaver’s readings of key scenes from Richard Goodwin’s recent play, “Two Gentlemen of Florence,” in which Sanders performed the role of Galileo.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and the Humanities Initiative at NYU.