Galileo and the Science Deniers

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
September 14, 2021: Belmont Media Center Community TV, Belmont MA (zoom)

Mario Livio, Ph.D., served as a distinguished astrophysicist at the Hubble Space Telescope astrophysicist for 24 years. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a best-selling author and popular speaker.

Dr. Livio discusses his newest popular book Galileo and the Science Deniers (2020), an especially timely account of Galileo's struggle to establish that the planets orbit the Sun. His facts conflicted with Church’s Aristotelian doctrine, which maintained that the Earth was the center of the universe. Dr. Livio also describes the similarity between the denial of scientific facts in Galileo’s era and denial of scientific facts today, so evident in climate change denialism and disinformation campaigns by anti-vaccine groups.

Dr. Livio was a senior astrophysicist from 1991 to 2015 at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Hubble Space Telescope. He has published more than 400 scientific articles on topics including cosmology, supernova explosions, black holes, extrasolar planets, and the emergence of life in the universe. His book on the irrational number phi, The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number (2002), won the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras Prize for popular books on mathematics. He was the inspiration for the Nova production The Great Math Mystery. Dr, Mario is a frequent guest on radio and TV.

A new Galileo biography draws parallels to today’s science denialism