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March 27, 2006

Physicist Michael Nauenberg to give Emeriti Lecture on Thursday, April 6

Michael Nauenberg, professor emeritus of physics, will deliver an Emeriti Lecture on Thursday, April 6, entitled "The Nature of Science and the Science of Nature: An Historical Perspective." The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in the Media Theater and will be followed by light refreshments.

Photo of Michael Nauenberg

Michael Nauenberg
Photo: Josette Nauenberg

The rapid rise of modern science is undoubtedly one of the most important events in human history. It also impacted almost all other spheres of knowledge and philosophy and profoundly changed our view of the world. Yet an understanding of science has remained elusive, as is evident from recent contentious public debates over issues relating to science.

Nauenberg's lecture will examine some of the fundamental concepts of natural science through the work of Robert Hooke, the most prolific participant in the 17th-century scientific revolution. Shortly after his death, Hooke was almost completely forgotten, partly due to professional intrigues. But recent historical research has restored his earlier towering reputation. Now, half a dozen new books describe his numerous achievements, and he is being hailed as the "Leonardo of London." In 2004, Hooke finally was honored with a memorial in Westminster Abbey, where his lifelong nemesis, Isaac Newton, is buried.

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