Re: [asa] science martyrs

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 08:57:36 EST

Given that we popularly consider missionaries killed "in the line of
duty" as martyrs, I suppose the popularly assumed death of Archimedes
working out problems with circles on the beach when he was killed by an
impatient Roman soldier would qualify? Or maybe that would make him
more a Mathematics martyr. There is a story of two Chinese astronomers
(I can't remember their names right now) who miscalculated the time of a
coming solar eclipse, and their emporer was not amused. (They were killed.)

Does ridicule count? And also, do the scientific beliefs that they were
persecuted for have to have been correct before they merit this
posthumous status? (If not then creation scientists have certainly
been ridiculed for scientific claims they have made, though I don't know
of any who have been imprisoned, let alone killed for their
'indiscretion' ---yet.)


Marcio Pie wrote:
> Hi there,
> I got a simple question: what are the well-established cases of
> science martyrs? By that I mean cases of scientists (or, more
> appropriately, natural philosophers) that experienced persecution
> **because** of their scientific beliefs.
> There is the commonly cited but mistaken case of Galileo, which is
> part of scientific pop culture, but has been regarded as a myth by
> people like Ron Numbers. Also, I just learned that Giordano Bruno was
> not condemned because of his scientific views, as commonly stated, but
> rather due to his theological views on the trinity.
> So, is there any example of someone that was really persecuted (or
> martyrized) because of his/her scientific views?
> Marcio

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Received on Sun Mar 1 08:52:26 2009

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