What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution, by Lawrence Lipking, (Cornell University Press), 312 pages, released October 7, 2014
Lawrence Lipking’s What Galileo Saw is a demanding and interesting read. What Lipking is trying to get at is the role of imagination in the scientific revolution. What kinds of worlds did Galileo or Kepler, for example, have to imagine as a result of their observations? Can we observe their imaginations at work in detailed readings of their illustrations that accompanied their scientific writing? Lipking assumes his audience has a solid background in the history of science and familiarity with the different approaches that have been taken in recent biographies of the scientists he discusses. Most readers will have to move through this book slowly, but the effort will be repaid with new ways of understanding how imagination can lead to revolution.