row of astrolabes

Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop - ND XIII July 5-9, 2017



- The printed schedule you receive when you arrive on campus will be the definitive schedule.
- All talks will take place in rooms 100–104 of McKenna Hall, except for the Adler visit and Sunday in 126 DeBartolo.
- Refreshments during breaks will be available nearby.

Wednesday, July 5 Workshop Opens
7:00 pm Public lecture, Auditorium of Hesburgh Center for International Studies (map)
Speaker: Michael Edmunds, Cardiff University, Wales, UK
Title: The Antikythera Mechanism and the Mechanical Universe (abstract) (poster)
  Reception to follow in the Grand Hall of Hesburgh Center for International Studies.
Thursday, July 6 100–104 McKenna Hall
8:30 - 8:45 am Welcome and opening statements

  Poster Papers displayed today and Saturday

“A 1-1/2-Inch-by-3-Inch Model of the Adler Planetarium,” Thomas Hockey, University of Northern Iowa (abstract)

This Month in Astronomical History: Providing Context for the Advancement of Astronomy,” Teresa A. Wilson, Michigan Technological University (abstract)

8:45 - 9:45 am Special Presentation

“Astronomical Mechanism in Greece, Rome, and the Modern World”
Michael Edmunds, Cardiff University, Wales, UK (abstract)

9:45 - 10:45 am Paper Session
Chair: Rory McEvoy, Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

“The Three-Handed Clock and the Standardization of Time in Sweden,” Johan Kärnfelt, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (abstract)

“Time Ball, Telegraphy, Radio Signals, and Public Clocks: Astronomy and the Distribution of Synchronized High-Precision Time in Sweden, 1850–1920,” Gustav Holmberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (abstract)

10:45 - 11:15 am Break
11:15 am - 12:45 pm Paper Session
Chair: Christopher Temple, University of Notre Dame

“Image Making in Ptolemy’s Astronomy and Geography,” Jacqueline Feke, University of Waterloo (abstract)

“Ptolemy’s Proof of the Central Position of the Earth,” Aníbal Szapiro, Universidad de Buenos Aires (abstract)

“The Recovery of Peurbach’s First Six Book of the Almagest,” Henry Zepeda, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (abstract)

12:45 - 1:00 pm Group photo outside McKenna Hall
1:00 - 2:15 pm Lunch
2:15 - 3:45 pm Paper Session
Chair: Louise Devoy, Royal Observatory, Greenwich

“Albrecht Dürer and the Melancholy of a Portentous Comet,” Stefan Zieme, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (abstract)

“The Occulting Alidade,” James Caplan, Université d’Aix-Marseille, France (abstract)

“On Comets and Knowledge: From Astrology to Astronomy,” Durruty Jesús de Alba Martínez, Universidad de Guadalajara (abstract)

3:45 - 4:15 pm Break
4:15 - 6:15 pm Panel: “Teaching about the Extraterrestrial Life Debate”
Organizer: Michael J. Crowe, University of Notre Dame

“Teaching Extraterrestrials at Notre Dame: The One-Semester Undergraduate Course,” Michael J. Crowe, University of Notre Dame (abstract)

“Teaching the Extraterrestrial Life Debate in an Interdisciplinary Context,” Peter Ramberg, Truman State University (abstract)

“Teaching the History of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate,” Robert Smith, University of Alberta (abstract)

“From ‘Ancient Aliens’ to UFOs: Using fringe ideas to explore critical questions in the History and Philosophy of Science,” Sarah Jozina Reynolds, Indiana University-Bloomington (abstract)

“Newberry Library Seminars on the Extraterrestrial Life Debate,” Lee Minnerly, Independent Scholar (abstract)

“Teaching the Extraterrestrial Life Debate in Shorter Format,” Matthew F. Dowd, University of Notre Dame Press (abstract)

8:00 pm Reception at the home of Matt & Amy Dowd, 17890 Drury Lane Ct., Granger, IN 46530
Friday, July 7 Field trip to the Adler Planetarium, Chicago
8:15 am (EDT) Bus boarding begins near Notre Dame Bookstore (map)
8:30 am Bus departs for Adler Planetarium
9:30 am (CDT) Arrival in Chicago at the Adler Planetarium
Welcoming remarks from Pedro M. P. Raposo, Curator, Adler Planetarium
Location: Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater
9:45 - 10:45 am Adler Session I:

“Astronomical Volvelles in Chicago: Early Paper Engineering from the Sublime to the Ridiculous,” Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Newberry Library (abstract)

“Early Telescopes: Archives, Images, and Objects,” Marvin Bolt, Corning Museum of Glass (abstract)

“George Graham and the Orrery,” Rory McEvoy, Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (abstract)

10:45 - 11:15 am Coffee Break and Object Viewing. See Adler staff to reserve a sky show.
11:15 am - 12:15 pm Adler Session II:

“Francesco Bianchini (1662–1729) and the Origins of Planetary Globes,” Luís Tirapicos and Thomas Horst, Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia - Universidade de Lisboa (abstract)

“Recounting the Orbs: Visual and Material Cultures of Popular Astronomy and the Evolving Image of the Solar System, 1780–1860,” Pedro M. P. Raposo, Adler Planetarium (abstract)

“Lunar Crater Models: Sharing Knowledge, Devising Theories, and Creating Photographic Aids,” Louise Devoy, Royal Observatory, Greenwich (abstract)

12:15 - 12:30 pm Concluding remarks and explanation of afternoon activities
12:30 - 5:30 pm Lunch on your own and free time with optional activities around the planetarium:
  • Group Photo on front steps of Adler (weather permitting)
  • Lunch on your own (10% discount at Galileo’s Café)
  • Sky show at your discretion (reservations made at morning break)
  • Museum exploration, including free access to Atwood Sphere
  • 3:00–4:00 pm: Space Visualization Laboratory, including Q&A with Adler staff about visualization in astronomy, Adler’s resources for historical research, and Zooniverse/Citizen Science
  • 4:00–5:00 pm: tour of the Doane Observatory, including solar observation (weather permitting)
5:30 - 6:30 pm Reception and dinner banquet in the Executive Lobby
6:30 - 7:45 pm “Sir Isaac Remembers...”: A One-Man Play by Michael Edmunds (description)
Location: Samuel C. Johnson Family Space Theater
8:00 pm Bus departs from Adler Planetarium
11:00 pm (EDT) Arrival at Notre Dame
Saturday, July 8 100–104 McKenna Hall
8:30 - 10:00 am Paper Session
Chair: Stephen Case, Olivet Nazarene University

“The Confusing Appearance of the Naked-Eye Planets” Todd Timberlake, Berry College (abstract)

“Science Drops the Ball: The Mechanics of Free-fall on a Rotating Earth as an Anti-Copernican Argument,” Christopher Graney, Jefferson Community & Technical College (abstract)

“The Equation of Time,” Adriana Monica Solomon, University of Notre Dame (abstract)

10:00 - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 1:00 pm Panel: “Mechanism and Accuracy in Ancient and Medieval Astronomy”
Chair: Michael Edmunds, Cardiff University, Wales, UK (abstract)

“From Babylonian records to pin and slot: A possible path,” Christián C. Carman, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, virtual participant (abstract) (paper)

“Mental Models, Mathematical Devices, and Physical Principles in Fifteenth-Century Islamic Astronomy: The Case of Fathallah al-Shirwani,” Scott Trigg, University of Notre Dame (abstract)

“Explanation and Unification: A Closer Look at Aristotle’s Astronomical Model,” Shannon Abelson, Indiana University–Bloomington (abstract)

“Methods and Models for Accurate Measuring,” Paul Keyser, Independent scholar (abstract)

“Conclusions and Questions,” Michael Edmunds, Cardiff University, Wales, UK

1:00 - 2:15 pm Lunch
2:15 - 4:00 pm Panel: “Pathways and Footwear for the Next Generation” (abstract)
Chair: Rudi Paul Lindner, University of Michigan


- David DeVorkin, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian
- Thomas Hockey, University of Northern Iowa
- Teasel Muir-Harmony, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian
- Marc Rothenberg, National Science Foundation (retired)

4:00 - 4:30 pm Break
4:30 - 6:30 pm Paper Session
Chair: Steve Ruskin, Independent Scholar

“Ant Races and the Origin of Life in the Universe: Harlow Shapley’s Model of Cosmic Evolution,” Emily Simpson, Oregon State University (abstract)

“Stellar Spectroscopy and John S. Plaskett’s Leadership within Early Twentieth-Century Astrophysics in Canada,” Andrew Oakes, University of Toronto (abstract)

“Anton Pannekoek and the Dutch School of Astrophysics,” Chaokang Tai, University of Amsterdam (abstract)

“History of the Observation of Neutrinos Produced by Supernovae,” John M. LoSecco, University of Notre Dame (abstract)

6:30 - 7:30 pm Free Time
7:30 pm Banquet at Morris Inn (private dining room)

Evening Observing Session at Notre Dame Observatory (weather permitting)
Planned: Viewing of the Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope

Sunday, July 9 new location: 126 DeBartolo (map)
9:00 - 10:30 am Paper Session
Chair: Marc Rothenberg, National Science Foundation (retired)

“The History and Conservation of the Barlow Planetarium,” Jamie Day, Transylvania University (abstract)

“A Science Fit for the Chapel: Astronomy, Communities of Science, and the Nature of Knowledge in Wales, 1805–1914,” Jake Bridges, University of Alberta (abstract)

“Big Money and Blind Faith: Astronomy as a Model for Scientific Instruction in Late-Nineteenth-Century Colorado,” Steve Ruskin, Independent Scholar (abstract)

10:30 - 11:00 am Break
11:00 - Noon Paper Session
Chair: Todd Timberlake, Berry College

“Single-Body Idealizations in Newtonian Mechanics,” Corey Dethier, University of Notre Dame (abstract)

“The First (Brooklyn) American Astronomical Society,” Trudy E. Bell, Independent Scholar (abstract)

Noon - 12:30 pm Workshop Business Meeting

Acknowledgments: Generous support for the workshop is provided by the Graduate Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, along with the Adler Planetarium.

© 2018 University of Notre Dame.     Image Credits