Harvard astronomer, historian to speak at OSU


CORVALLIS - A Harvard University professor and expert on Galileo will visit Oregon State University May 17-18, where he will give a pair of free public lectures as part of a series on the relationship between religion and science.

Owen Gingerich, a professor of astronomy and the history of science at Harvard, will speak on "What Would Galileo Say to the Creationists?" That lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17, in OSU's Milam Auditorium.

Gingerich will present a second lecture, "Dare a Scientist Believe in Design?" on Tuesday, May 18, at noon in the Memorial Union East Forum.

Both free, public lectures are sponsored by OSU's Department of History and supported by the John Templeton Foundation and the American Scientific Affiliation.

In addition to being on the Harvard faculty, Gingerich is a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. His wide research interests range from recomputation of the ancient Babylonian mathematical table to the interpretation of stellar spectra.

A prolific author, Gingerich has written more than 400 scholarly or popular articles about science, astronomy and history. He is co-author of two widely accepted models for the solar atmosphere which were the first to take into account rocket and satellite observations of the sun.

During the past three decades, Gingerich has become a leading authority on Copernicus and 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, as well as Galileo.