15 February each year is Galileo Day - a celebration of the anniversary of Galileo Galilei's birth.
Who was Galileo?
Galileo was a true Renaissance man. A physicist, a mathematician, an astronomer and a philosopher. Galileo was best known for his work supporting Copernicanism, showing the Earth was in fact not at the centre of the universe.
Galileo is considered to be one of the key figures in the history of modern science and one of the major players in the Scientific Revolution.
Why celebrate Galileo?
Galileo was a truly inspirational scientist. Like Darwin, the ideas he put forward, though correct, were met with large amounts of controversy and resistance from the Church. However, he stuck to the scientific method and followed the conclusions the evidence led to.
Of course, like Darwin once again, he was eventually vindicated, though unfortunately not within his life time. He spent the last years of his life under house arrest under orders of the Church.
The best way to celebrate Galileo Day is with a traditional feast. Invite your friends round, knock up a slap-up meal and toast to the man himself.
Given Galileo's area of work it is also highly appropriate to go star gazing on this night. Have a search round for your local astronomy society and have them organise something, or, if you happen to have a telescope yourself, organise a dinner and star spotting evening.
Get the Pack
Do you run a local group our society? Then why not get involved in the Galileo Day celebrations? We have prepared a pack to help local groups run their own Galileo Day events. It contains:
- A guide to Galileo Day for groups
- Example adverts and posters
- An example A5 handout
- An example talk, complete with slides and notes
- Photos and images to use
The pack is free to use and distributed under Creative Commons. The pack is approximately 46 MB.
If there are any problems with the download link above, you can also download from our server.
If you want any more information or want to submit some photos, drop us an email at info [at] galileoday [dot] org.