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Galileo at 400

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October 31, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 7:30 pm CET

Watch the recordings


Galileo at 400

Looking Through 21st Century Telescopes

with Avi Loeb, Dean Radin, David Lorimer, Athena Potari, Marjorie Woollacott

Curated by Àlex Gómez-Marín

Free Program in 3 Parts

Tuesday October 31
10:00am PDT  | 1:00pm EDT  | 5:00pm GMT  |  6:00pm CET

Part 1 – The Assayer – To Watch the recording
A reading together of Galileo’s seminal book with Àlex Gómez-Marín and James Peat Barbieri
Friday October 20 at 12:00-13:30 EDT, 17:00-18:30 BST, 18:00-19:30 CEST

Part 2 – Exploring Outer and Inner Spaces- To Watch the Recording
A conversation between Avi Loeb and Dean Radin with Àlex Gómez-Marín
Wednesday October 25 at 13:00-14:30 EDT, 18:00-19:30 BST, 19:00-20:30 CEST

Part 3 – Expanding the Scope of Science with the Galileo Commission
A dialogue between David Lorimer, Marjorie Woollacott, Athena Potari, and Àlex Gómez-Marín
Tuesday October 31 at 12:00-13:30 EDT, 17:00-18:30 GMT, 18:00-19:30 CET

In this online series we will revisit Galileo’s book, The Assayer, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of its publication this very month of October.

Written as a letter in a controversy about the nature of comets, such a foundational text in the history of modern science deserves to be more widely known and read. It contains one of the first and clearest articulations of the scientific method, the famous claim about the mathematical intelligibility of nature, and Galileo’s emphasis on epistemic humility in the face of dogma and authority. Remarkably, in the book we also find Galileo’s programmatic exclusion of consciousness from the purview of science, whose consequences we are still wrestling with today.

Celebrating “Galileo at 400” shall inspire us to dare to look through current “telescopes” in order to continue exploring our inner and outer spaces while expanding the scope of science as we know it.

Galileo’s indelible legacy can be grasped directly from his own words. We encourage attendees to get first-hand experience with The Assayer before the event, via the free material linked below.


(1)    ABRIDGED ENGLISH TRANSLATION: G. Galilei, in The Controversy on the Comets of 1618, S. Drake, C. D. O’Malley, Transl. (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1960). You can read it for free here: https://web.stanford.edu/~jsabol/certainty/readings/Galileo-Assayer.pdf

(2)    ORIGINAL TEXT IN ITALIAN: G. Galilei, Il Saggiatore [Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer] (Giacomo Mascardi, 1623). You can read it for free here: https://www.loc.gov/item/2021666740/

Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University and a bestselling author (in lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, L’Express and more). He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993). Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial, and nearly a thousand papers (with h-index of 119 and i10-index of 543) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. Loeb is the Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and also serves as the Head of the Galileo Project(2021-present). He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020) and the Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-2021). He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. Loeb is a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House, a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-2021) and a current member of the Advisory Board for “Einstein: Visualize the Impossible” of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present) and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space and in 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade. Click here for Loeb’s commentaries on innovation and diversity.

Personal website: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/

Dean Radin is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), Associated Distinguished Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and chairman of the genetic engineering company, Cognigenics. He earned an MS (electrical engineering) and a PhD (psychology) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and in 2022 was awarded an Honorary DSc (doctor of science) from the Swami Vivekananda University (an accredited university in Bangalore, India). He served for five terms as President of the Parapsychological Association (PA), a professional society affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)), and in 2023 received the PA’s Outstanding Career Award.

Before joining the IONS research staff in 2001, Radin worked at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International. He has given over 750 talks and interviews worldwide, and he is author or coauthor of some 300 scientific and popular articles, four dozen book chapters, and nine books, four of which have been translated into 15 foreign languages: The Conscious Universe (1997, HarperCollins), Entangled Minds (2006, Simon & Schuster), Supernormal (2013, RandomHouse), and Real Magic (2018, PenguinRandomHouse).

David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA is a writer, lecturer, poet, editor and spiritual activist who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network (www.scientificandmedical.net) and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society (www.swedenborgsociety.org.uk). He has also been editor of Paradigm Explorer since 1986 and completed his 100th issue in 2019. He was the instigator of the Beyond the Brain conference series in 1995 (www.beyondthebrain.org)  and has co-ordinated the Mystics and Scientists conferences every year since the late 1980s.

Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Survival? Death as Transition (1984, 2017) Resonant Mind (originally Whole in One) (1990/2017), The Spirit of Science (1998), Thinking Beyond the Brain (2001), The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew) and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson). He has edited three books about the Bulgarian sage Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov): Prophet for our Times (1991, 2015), The Circle of Sacred Dance, and Gems of Love, which is a translation of his prayers and formulas into English. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince (2003) – has been translated into Dutch, Spanish and French. His new book of essays, A Quest for Wisdom was published in 2021.

David is also Chair of the Galileo Commission (www.galileocommission.org) which seeks the expand the evidence base of science of consciousness beyond a materialistic world view.

In 2020 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Visionary Leader by the Visioneers International Network and the 2021 Aboca Human Ecology Prize. He is a Creative Member of the Club of Budapest. His website is www.davidlorimer.co.uk

Dr. Athena Potari is Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University. She received her PhD from the University of Oxford, specializing in Political Philosophy, and her MA in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is recipient of the Academy of Athens Award of Philosophy (2020), author of A Call for a Renaissance of the Spirit in the Humanities published by the Galileo Commission, and Member of the Galileo Commission Committee. In 2019, she founded Athenoa, a School of Hellenic Philosophy based in Athens, Greece where Hellenism is approached as a living wisdom tradition whose very essence consists in the inextricable combination of science, reason and spirituality. Her work aims to revive the deeper spiritual and experiential dimensions of Hellenic Philosophy, combining discursive rigor and embodied spiritual and meditative practices with the aim of awakening to our true Self.

Marjorie Woollacott, Ph.D., was Professor, and chair of the Dept. of Human Physiology, and member of the Inst. of Neuroscience, at the U. of Oregon for 35 yrs. She is Co-director of the Galileo Commission, President of the Academy for the Advancement of Post-Materialist Sciences (AAPS) and Research Director for the Intl. Assoc. of Near-Death Studies (IANDS). She has received over 7.2 million dollars in research funding and published more than 200 scientific articles on her research in medicine, meditation and spiritual awakening. Her book, Infinite Awareness (2015) pairs Woollacott’s research as a neuroscientist with her self-revelations about the mind’s spiritual power.

Àlex Gómez-Marín is a Spanish physicist turned neuroscientist. He holds a PhD in theoretical physics and a Masters in biophysics from the University of Barcelona. He was a research fellow at the EMBL-CRG Centre for Genomic Regulation and at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon. His research spans from the origins of the arrow of time to the neurobiology of action-perception across species, from flies and worms to mice and humans. Since 2016 he has been the head of the Behavior of Organisms Laboratory at the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante, where he is an Associate Professor of the Spanish Research Council. Combining computational biology and continental philosophy, his current research concentrates on consciousness in the real world.


October 31, 2023
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CET