Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was more than just a scientific
who faced persecution by the religious authorities. He also struggled
with poor health, his own faith, and the challenges of living during
a period that included both the Bubonic Plague and the Thirty Year's War.
Through the letters from his oldest daughter, Suor Maria Celeste (1600-1634),
we learn the details of how Galileo led a scientific revolution under the
most difficult of circumstances. The blend of science and humanity in
Galileo's story, like that of Yorkshire carpenter John Harrison, whose
clocks solved the "Longitude Problem", has surprising modern resonances,
despite intervening centuries. The speaker will attempt to breathe life
into Galileo and Suor Maria Celeste, and the Earth-centered world in which
they found themselves. Interested readers may further pursue their story
in her recent book "Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science,
Faith and Love".