What Galileo saw: imagining the scientific revolution
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What Galileo saw, when he looked through his homemade spyglass at the sky, has been a source of fascination and hindsight for 400 years. It brings together an intimate, private act one man’s effort to make sense of the fl ickering images in his eyes and an earthshaking histori-cal event perhaps the making of the modern world. Something important happened then, as everyone agrees. Yet every aspect of what occurred is subject to interpretation. No one can ever know exactly what Galileo saw, of course, and the evidence that he provided, in skillful wash drawings and etchings as well as verbal descriptions, could never record his first impres-sions directly, instead he offers his later refl ections on them. 1 Nor does the significance of what he saw speak for itself. If Galileo started a revolution, the meaning of that revolution has not yet been settled.
- Sociology