CEDAR RAPIDS — The liberal-arts birth of modern science is the focus of Coe College’s November Thursday Forum Series.
Physics professor Mario Affatigato will lead the discussions, titled “The Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance,” on Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 30 in Hickok Hall’s Kesler Lecture Hall.
Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., followed by class until 11:30 a.m. An optional luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.
Starting with the Middle Ages in the first week, participants will explore the environment and the famous and forgotten scholars who made it possible for modern science to emerge.
The second session will focus on the European Renaissance, delving into the conditions that made it possible for Galileo to revolutionize science and for Newton to flourish.
The crux of the investigation: How did the social, cultural and economic factors of the Renaissance create the crucible in which science would be forged? What role did older polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci play? Was it important that Galileo had studied art and linear perspective?
The third week will deal with the growth and development of science as its own enterprise, including the birth of scientific societies. Attendees will explore the impact of science on the formation of the United States. Why were science and revolution often intertwined with the American Founding Fathers? Why did so many of them have Scottish teachers?
The last session will conclude with science being recognized as the engine that powered the Industrial Revolution, and discuss the growth of science as an engine of social mobility. It also will include a look at the current state of science around the world.
Coe College Thursday Forum courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. Closing luncheons are $8.
Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8623.
Upcoming Thursday Forums:
• Diversity in Dance: The Dieman-Bennett Dance Studio in Cedar Rapids, Dec. 7
• Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre — Behind the Scenes with "Turandot,” Jan. 18
• A New Arsenal: American Art during World War I, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
• Two Scenically Beautiful Hikes in the English Countryside, March 1
• Songs of Protest and Resistance, March 8, 15, 22, 29
• Saints, Sinners and Secularists: Religion and Politics on the World Stage, April 5, 12, 19, 26