International author Dava Sobel speaking at Auckland Museum 23rd NovDate: 30 October 2012
Sobel will discuss her latest book A More Perfect Heaven - How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos, which looks at the man who put the Sun, not the Earth, at the centre of our universe.
In A More Perfect Heaven, Sobel once again breaks new literary ground, stepping outside the bounds of popular science writing and using a play within the book to explore the real relationship between Catholic cleric Nicolaus Copernicus and young German mathematician Georg Joachim Rheticus and how it could have shaped the paradigm-shifting theories of Copernicus.
As Sobel did in her international bestsellers Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, she manages to bring to life the key characters at the centre of a moment of great scientific change and to capture the radical nature of their ideas for the time and the resistance from those around them.
From primary school onwards we take it as fact that the Earth moves around the Sun but this book captures what an astonishing realisation this was in the face of all the existing theory and the “evidence” before their eyes.
As one reviewer has commented “Every one of the senses that I use to observe the world below me and the sky around me tell me a single irrefutable fact: The earth is absolutely stationary. Somehow Copernicus himself made the leap.”
Sobel will discuss A More Perfect Heaven at this year’s Hillary Lecture at Auckland Museum on Friday 23 November from 7pm – 9pm. The event has been organised by the Museum Circle Foundation.
Ahead of her visit to New Zealand, Sobel is travelling to Cairns to see the total solar eclipse on Wednesday 14 November. http://www.eclipsecairns.com/
Dava Sobel bio
A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Sobel attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1969. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002.
She is the author of Longitude (Walker 1995 and 2005, Penguin 1996), Galileo''''s Daughter (Walker 1999, Penguin 2000) and The Planets (Viking 2005, Penguin 2006) and a former New York Times science reporter.
Galileo''''s Daughter won the 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science and technology, a 2000 Christopher Award, and was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in biography. Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter have inspired a movie and television documentaries.
Sobel has won several major awards for her contribution to fostering awareness and public understanding of science.
Previous lecture engagements have seen Sobel speak at The Smithsonian Institution, The Explorers'''' Club, NASA''''s Goddard Space Flight Center, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The New York Public Library, The Hayden Planetarium, The Royal Geographical Society (London), and the American Academy in Rome.
From January through March 2006, Ms. Sobel served as the Robert Vare Non-fiction Writer in Residence at the University of Chicago, where she taught a seminar in science writing while pursuing research for her stage play about sixteenth century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, called "And the Sun Stood Still”.
Starting in 2013, Ms. Sobel will begin a two-year appointment as the Joan Leiman Jacobson Writer-in-Residence at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Dava Sobel is currently available for phone interviews from the US.
An Evening with Longitude author Dava Sobel
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