W&L Conference to Debunk Scientific Myths

John L. Heilbron

John L. Heilbron

Two dozen historians of science from around the world will debunk 26 commonly-held myths of science at a conference at Washington and Lee University May 8 – 11.

The keynote address by John L. Heilbron of the University of California-Berkeley will take place in Lee Chapel at 6 p.m. on Fri. May 9 and is open to the public.  He will discuss the master myths of science, history and science and science and religion.

His talk will also be broadcast live online.

According to Heilbron, these master myths, though almost certainly false, contain enough truth to be useful and inspirational. The argument covers a few familiar doubtful stories, such as Columbus and the flat earth, Galileo's tower and torture, Newton's apple, the big bang theory and ends with a surprising appeal to Greek mythology.

The complete conference is open to the Washington and Lee community and others wishing to attend should contact Professor Nicolaas Rupke at rupken@wlu.edu or (540) 458-8344.

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