School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Annual Crawford Lecture in the History of Astronomy

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Crawford Lecture!

Professor Sven Dupré (Freie Universität Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) will talk about "Galileo, the Telescope and the Renaissance Culture of Glass".

When: 7 May 2013 at 5.30pm. Where: Teviot Lecture Theatre, Doorway 5, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG.


This lecture situates Galileo (especially his work on the telescope) within the cultures of glass in which he lived - between the furnaces of the glassmakers on the island of Murano near Venice and the 'alchemical laboratories’ connected to the Medici court. First and foremost of thses was the Casino di San Marco in Florence, which produced the first printed treatise on glass-making, Antonio Neri’s' L’arte vetraria’ (1612).

Galileo’s connections with the world of glass did not stop at the level of technology transfer. Glass was also central to shaping his artistic tastes and in directing his decisions in questions of astronomy and natural philosophy.

In adressing the problem of lunar light and substance, Galileo elaborated notions of light connecting Northern art and Venetian glass, equally popular in the artistic climate of the Medici court.

This event is ticketed but free.