15 February 2014

Cultural Stories: Marking of the 450th Birth Anniversary of Galileo Galilei

The 450th birth anniversary of Galileo Galilei, famous physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher was marked with a lecture and demonstration named “And yet, it moves: the social and scientific context of Galilei’s scientific revolution” on 15 February at the Planetarium of the Youth Cultural Centre.

The welcoming address was delivered by H.E. Ernesto Massimino BELLELLI, Ambassador of Italia, followed by a lecture on the social environment which gave rise to Galileo’s inventions and a demonstration of Galileo’s milestones in a life of discoveries, and their significance for science and culture in the centuries to come, by Vanco STOJKOSKI, lecturer at the Planetarium.

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), often known as and simply called Galileo, was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations as well as support for Copernicanism by mastering the heliocentric theory. Galileo was accused twice for heresy by the church for his beliefs. He has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".

His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honor), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo, among other things also worked in applied science and technology, inventing and improving the military compass and other instruments.

The abundance and magnitude of Galileo’s achievements and pioneering work is sometimes even difficult to frame; he is, for sure, one of the greatest scientists in Europe and beyond, as well as in the history of human civilization. In a way, Galileo is a symbol for the resistance of the scientific thought towards prejudices. He is maybe, what we would call today – a truly great researcher and innovator.