Dr. Carlo Cipollone, the Educational Director of the Italian Consulate, presented the following article, Galileo's Educational Legacy, at a recent symposium at Harvard University. The event was in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope. Many thanks to the author for his permission to republish it and North End resident, Nancy Caruso, for the submission.
In occasion of the Week of Celebration of the Italian Language in the World, the Consulate General of Italy in Boston in collaboration with Harvard University and the Italian Space Agency present a symposium.
Galileo's Telescope and the Beginning of the Scientific Revolution and Space Exploration
Galileo's Educational Legacy
by Dr. Carlo Cipollone
Educational Director of the Italian Consulate
As an educator, I can confirm that Galileo continues to generate great curiosity today, even among the youngest members of our society. A few days ago I received an email from a nine year-old student. With her mother's help, young Ashley asked to address some simple questions to scientists and experts on Galileo. She also requested to meet with me for a chat about this icon of scientific discovery. While reviewing Ashley's questions I realized that children, in their ingenuity, manage to raise complex topics and queries - challenging most adults to give a suitable answer.
The question that struck me the most was probably the most difficult to answer: "Why is Galileo so important today"?
I hope that I can give an answer to Ashley's question. I will aim to give the best response I can, trying to offer a perspective based on the man behind the telescope, the man who influenced countless disciplines.
Galileo's ideas not only sparked a scientific revolution, they initiated a large-scale revolution in human thinking. He changed the way we see the world and more importantly, how we perceive ourselves within it.
Everything began four hundred years ago...
City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Preserving USS Constitution Gun Salutes & Playing National Anthem
Thanksgiving Traditions and Christmas Controversies
Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009
9:30 AM – 4:15 PM
Did early Bostonians celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas? Would Paul Revere put up holiday decorations, or exchange gifts with his many children? How did people in colonial Boston mark the darkest season of the year? Come to the Paul Revere House, home of Boston’s favorite patriot, to find out. We invite you to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells, even tastes of the holidays in colonial Boston!
Costumed interpreters in the Revere House, c. 1680, and neighboring Pierce-Hichborn House, c. 1711, will acquaint visitors with colonial thanksgiving traditions and controversies surrounding the observance of Christmas. Both houses will feature period appropriate displays of tropical fruits, prized by the colonists for their bright colors as much as their sweet flavors. Discover why Boston banned any observance of Christmas at times during the 1600’s. Learn how by the Reveres’ era, even Puritans sometimes treated themselves to delectable thanksgiving feasts scheduled suspiciously close to December 25, and visited Anglican churches to enjoy the greenery and festive music.