Galileo's Finger: The Birth and Death of Galileo Galilei
The work of Galileo, considered by many to be the first modern scientist, is familiar to all of us. But in his early years Galileo was a college drop-out, a young man struggling to make a living. He succeeded by networking, entrepreneurship, and being opportunistic. At the end of his life, under censure by the Church, he was a celebrity, perhaps the first "scientist-rock star". After his death Galileistas struggled for a century to build a monument to the great man, and the story of how that monument was realized is little known but remarkable. In his life Galileo never traveled farther than from Tuscany to Rome. In death his finger has traveled from Florence to Philadelphia, and the story of Galileo's finger continues to this day.
Michael Bertin is a long-time OCA member. He is a 1963 graduate of MIT, and holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Rutgers University. His career path includes basic research, industrial R&D, and entrepreneurship. Now retired, he is an amateur astronomer, and a docent at Palomar Observatory. Michael has visited Galileo's finger at the Museo Galileo in Florence.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by John Garrett