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Stargazers Copernicus, Galileo, the Telescope and the Church Allan Chapman

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17 Oct 2014
Electronic book text
464 pages:

The period from 1500-1700 saw an unprecendented renaissance in astronomy and the understanding of the heavens. In this magnificent tour de force, scientific historian Dr Allan Chapman guides us through two hundred years of mapping the stars. He shows how Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler were all part of a huge movement, which included many churchmen, questing for knowledge of the skies. Chapman explores whether Galileo and his ilk were so unusual for their time, bright sparks of knowledge in a sea of ignorance. Or were contemporary Popes, churchmen, and rulers actually fascinated by astronomy, and open to new ideas? Within these pages Copernicus and Galileo find company with Jesuit missionary astronomers in China, Calvinist physicists in Leiden, Bishop John Wilkins's Flying Chariot destined for the moon, Johannes Hevelius, Jeremiah Horrocks, Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton, the early Royal Society, and the Revd James Bradley, who finally detected the earth's motion in space in 1728.
Dr Allan Chapman is a historian of science at Oxford University, with special interests in the history of astronomy and of medicine and the relationship between science and Christianity. As well as University teaching, he lectures widely, has written a dozen books and numerous academic articles, and written and presented two TV series, Gods in the Sky and Great Scientists, besides taking part in many other history of science TV documentaries and in The Sky at Night with Sir Patrick Moore. He has received honorary doctorates and awards from the Universities of Central Lancashire, Salford, and Lancaster, and in 2015 was presented with the Jackson-Gwilt Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society. Among his books are Slaying the Dragons. Destroying Myths in the History of Science and Faith (Lion Hudson, 2013), Stargazers: Copernicus, Galileo, the Telescope, and the Church. The Astronomical Renaissance, 1500-1700 (Lion, 2014), and Physicians, Plagues, and Progress. The History of Western Medicine from Antiquity to Antibiotics (Lion, 2016). He is also the author of the scientific biographies England's Leonardo. Robert Hooke and the Seventeenth-Century Scientific Revolution (Institute of Physics, 2005), Mary Somerville and the World of Science (Canopus, 2004; Springer, 2015), and The Victorian Amateur Astronomer. Independent Astronomical Research in Britain, 1820-1920 (Wiley-Praxis, 1998; revised edn. Gracewing, 2017).

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