7:30 pm, Wednesday, January 9, 2008|
Fairmont Social Lounge, St. John's College
The Bones of Copernicus
Department of English, University of British Columbia
Not until 2005
did they actually probe the contents of his grave: yet
people have been reconstructing the remains of Copernicus for centuries.
One of these reconstructions, produced by steady-state astronomers in the
1950s and dubbed the Copernican Principle (CP), has remained a dominant
assumption among cosmologists in the decades since steady state was
abandoned in favour of the Big Bang. Yet the
CP has always harboured
what Hawking and Ellis called an admixture of ideology; not all of
uses have been scientific. Bringing together historical writings and
recent interviews conducted with leading cosmologists, I will offer
evidence to suggest that the Copernican principle may be due for
burial -- even if Copernicus himself, in other important ways, lives on.
Find out more
by visiting his website.
Additional resources for this talk: slides,