Round 1 ended with some surprisingly tight contests as well as some runaway victories, e.g., Marie Curie easily defeated Averroes and in a somewhat surprising result, Hermes Trismegistus handily beat Galen. Tycho Brahe barely beat Rosalind Franklin. The closest match up was between Pliny and Boyle, who exchanged leads a number of times before Pliny just edged him out at the bell.
Here is how Round 2 shapes up. Voting begins later today:
Astronomia Round 1
Round one continues with match-ups in the Astronomia division. Some traditional pillars in the history of science risk falling to equally interesting if less familiar names. It seems fitting that Nicolaus Copernicus with his new-fangled solar system should confront Giovanni Battista Riccioli whose careful analysis of the Ptolemaic, Tychonic, and Copernican system decided against Copernicus. Hypatia comes up against Georg Peuerbach in what will no doubt be billed as a sort of pagan-christian rematch. Two Germans square off when Regiomontanus and Caroline Herschel meet. One of Austria’s only players, Lise Meitner hopes to defeat Eudoxus whose model of nested spheres is as ingenious as it is complicated.
In an epic battle of astrologers, Abu Mashar takes on Claudius Ptolemy—no doubt they’ve already analyzed the relevant charts and know who wins. Before the quirky and gifted Paul Wittich can have his rematch with Tycho, he will first have to get through Alhazen, aka Ibn al-Haytham. Expect a tight competition between these two skeptics of the Ptolemaic system. The paradoxically obscure and familiar Sacrobosco hopes to get past Maria Margarethe Kirch who despite being the first woman to discover a comet remains obscure. Finally, Newton‘s greatest promoter in France, Émile du Châtelet will try to overcome the Persian polymath al-Biruni
If you haven’t yet, be sure to vote for the match-ups in the Arithmetica and the Musica divisions.
Musica Round 1
As in the Arithmetica division, here again some history of science heroes are going home after this round. Marie Curie takes on Averroes. Although Galen enjoys near mythical status in the history of medicine (except amongst teleologists who lambast him for a) his humoral medicine and b) claiming there were pores in the heart’s septum) he has to confront the truly mythical Hermes Trismegistus. Then we have the battle of the early modern English Williams: William Harvey against William Gilbert. Which will prove more powerful, the heart or the magnet? In the next matchup, Pythagoras and his mystical numbers run headlong into Ulisse Aldrovandi’s interest in the material here and now.