11 Stories

Italy May Be Home to 'Dumbest Court in the World'

Earthquake verdict recalls Galileo for many

(Newser) - An Italian court has convicted six scientists for failing to predict a deadly earthquake, which, congratulations, puts it in the running for "dumbest court in the world," reads the headline to a post by Elie Mystal at the Above the Law blog. Prosecutors blamed the six for providing... More »

Some Catholics Still Say Galileo Was Wrong

Conservatives tie astronomer's ideas to moral decline

(Newser) - Not only did Roman Catholics arrest Galileo for saying the Earth revolves around the sun—a handful of them still insist he was wrong. It's a small movement, but a few conservative Roman Catholics are turning to Church teachings and a dozen Bible verses as proof of a geocentric... More »

Museum Shows Off Galileo's Fingers

Body parts of scientist their top exhibit

(Newser) - Florence’s Galileo Museum will reopen this week with a prized, albeit mildly grisly, new exhibit: two fingers, a thumb, a tooth, and a vertebrae that supposedly belonged to the legendary scientist. According to the museum’s director, the body parts were taken off Galileo Galilei’s corpse by masons... More »

Galileo's Missing Fingers Found

Jar of astronomer's digits donated to Italian museum

(Newser) - Two fingers and a tooth removed from Galileo's corpse by the astronomer's 18th-century admirers have resurfaced for the first time in a century. The digits, preserved in an unmarked glass jar, were bought at auction by a man who realized who they belonged to; he donated them to Museum of... More »

Galileo's World-Changing Telescope Turns 400

(Newser) - On August 25, 1609—400 years ago today—Galileo Galilei introduced Venice to the telescope, and the discoveries it enabled were every bit as revolutionary as Darwinism, writes Peter Walker of the Guardian. With his telescope, a brown stick weaker than today's store-bought models, Galileo detected moon-like phases of Venus,... More »

Eye Trouble May Have Affected Galileo's Observations

Scientists want to exhume astronomer

(Newser) - Galileo’s vision problems may have distorted some of his findings, Reuters reports. Scientists want to exhume the scientist’s body to determine, through DNA tests, the exact nature of his eye condition. “If we knew exactly what was wrong with his eyes we could use computer models to... More »

Vatican Debates Paying Tribute to Galileo

Heretic remains a touchy subject in Catholic Church

(Newser) - Galileo Galilei is riling the Catholic church yet again, the Wall Street Journal reports, as an anonymous donor has offered to pay to erect a statue in the Vatican of Catholicism’s most famous heretic. But though the church has come around on science, Galileo remains a touchy subject. He’... More »

10 Who Were Blinded (or Worse) by Science

Their work lead to big discoveries...and unfortunate death and injury

(Newser) - Knowledge may be power, but finding that knowledge can get you killed. List Universe ranks the top scientists killed or injured by their experiments.
  1. Galileo Galilei: The “father of modern physics” refined the telescope by staring at the sun for hours, resulting in near-blindness.
  2. Michael Faraday: A nitrogen chloride
... More »

Laws of Physics May Need an Overhaul

Scientists detect gravity-defying behavior of spacecrafts

(Newser) - The laws of physics just might be broken. Scientists have detected gravity-defying behavior from spacecrafts flung around the Earth, the Economist reports. Five different spacecrafts picked up speed at a pace deviating,ever so slightly, from the laws created by Newton and Einstein. After laborious calculations, astronomers have created a... More »

Angry Students Block Pope Visit

Profs say appearance would be affront to 'people of science'

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI has scrapped plans to speak at a prestigious Italian university after unprecedented protests by furious students and professors who accused him of justifying Galileo's trial and "affronting" people of science, the Los Angeles Times reports. The pope once described as "reasonable" the 400-year-old heresy trial... More »

What CEOs Read Before They Lead

Business leaders find refuge and resource in luxury book collections

(Newser) - Scanning the personal libraries of CEOs, tech gurus and venture geniuses reveals not only what they read but how they think, the Times reports. The well-heeled have taken to housing their exorbitant collections in luxurious, custom-built, private spaces. And if you read between the lines, the literature tends to reflect... More »

11 Stories