December 17th, 2011
Blogs continue to occupy an increasingly important place in intellectual and academic life. One of the many roles blogs play is in creating extended conversations, allowing scholars affiliated with institutions as well as independent scholars to enter into meaningful discourse. Unlike the face-to-face conversations that occur at academic conferences, which are both fleeting and costly, the conversations that emerge from blog posts and related form of electronic exchange can be, seemingly paradoxically, less ephemeral and are relatively inexpensive. And because the barrier to participate is lower, blogs can also facilitate communication across disciplinary boundaries.
The recent round-up of history of science blog posts offers an example. The posts come from a range of scholars from different disciplines. Together these posts help to create a intellectual conversation and to bind scholars together in a common enterprise. And, in the end, these posts provide some good reading.
Welcome to another edition of The Giant’s Shoulders #42. Today is the anniversary of the death of Ali Qushji, who died on 16 December 1474. Ali Qushji was a Persian astronomer and mathematician from Samarkand who died in Istanbul. He is remembered most for trying to establish an astronomical physics that was independent of Aristotelian physics. He rejected a stationary earth and, instead, tried to offer evidence for the earth’s daily rotation. It seems appropriate, then, that we begin this month’s carnival with the early modern posts.