Historical Expertise

History is Always Advocacy

In the comments to the post Gopnik on Galileo people have raised some good points that warrant further reflection. I want to begin by underscoring my point in that post: Gopnik repeats a number of problematic historical tropes. Historians of science have for years refuted those tropes, revealing how and why they are fallacious. Despite […]

Press and Pop Culture

Gopnik on Galileo

Adam Gopnik’s essay in The New Yorker, “Moon Man. What Galileo Saw,” swings between unfortunate mischaracterizations and reasonable statements. We sigh as we read the worn-out myth about Galileo as the founder of modern science (there are various critiques of such founder myths): The founder of modern science had to wait three hundred years, but […]