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From Galileo To Dr. Fauci: The History Of Science Denial And Conspiracies

Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) using a telescope, circa 1620.
Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) using a telescope, circa 1620.

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei stood trial against the Catholic Church in the seventeenth century for defending the heliocentric model of the universe.

It’s commonly considered to be one of the most famous examples of science denial in western history. Sadly, such obstinance to evidence-based explanations of the natural world isn’t something the human race has left behind.

As people are turning toward medical experts on how to stay safe during the pandemic, what happens when world leaders and portions of the population begin to turn away from science, or disavow it outright?

Conspiracy theorists (and in some cases publicly-elected officials) are working overtime on social media, video-sharing websites and other online spaces to combat guidance offered by medial authorities relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his new book, “Galileo: And the Science Deniers,” author and astrophysicist Mario Livio believes there are lessons to be learned from the science denial during the age of Galileo Galilei.

What’s the historical significance of science denial? And what can history teach us about combating it in the current moment?

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