Whom Would You Most Like to Have Coffee With?
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