Galileo's World

Wondertooneel: Women and Museums

Wondertooneel Learning Leaflet

What were women doing in the museum? 

Levinus Vincent, a wealthy Dutch merchant with ties to the East Indies, created a spectacular 'Chamber of Wonders' natural history museum in Haarlem. Visiting dignitaries admired his museum, including Peter the Great and King Charles III of Spain. The detailed depictions of interior spaces include figures of women engaged in a variety of activities. Museums such as Vincent's offered women opportunities for participation in the natural sciences as donors, collectors, discoverers, visitors, patrons, lecturers and curators. This OER explores the significance of women in these early museums.


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Apiarium (English Translation - White Background)

Apiarium White Background

In this first publication of observations made with a microscope, Cesi and Stelluti studied the anatomy of the bee. The text includes classical references to bees as well as new knowledge, integrated in a tabular outline. The title area shows four ancient coins depicting bees, and the crest of the Barberini family showing three busy bees. Because only a handful were printed, the type has bitten deeply into the paper. Oklahoma holds one of only four extant printed copies. This english translation is by Clara Sue Kidwell, formatted by Leah Vanderburg.


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Elisabeth Hevelius: Observational Astronomer

Elisabeth Hevelius Learning Leaflet

How does the Sextant symbolize the person who worked on the famed Hevelius star catalog and star atlas throughout its production, from observation to publication? 

Elisabeth Hevelius, wife of Johann Hevelius, was an astronomer in her own right. They worked together in the observatory of their Gdansk home to measure angular widths and distances with a great sextant, which required two observers at a time. The Sextant was among the new constellations they proposed in Uranographia (1690), the most detailed and influential celestial atlas of the 17th century. The Uranographia contains 54 beautiful double page engraved plates of 73 constellations, and 2 oversized folding plates of planispheres.


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Edward Jenner: The Mystery of the Milkmaids

Edward Jenner Learning Leaflet

Edward Jenner was a physician in the eighteenth and nineteenth century who studied the disease known as cowpox. Traditional medical knowledge demonstrated that milkmaids who contracted the disease cowpox became immune to smallpox. On account of this information Jenner surmised that pus from cowpox blisters (such as shown in the pictures) could be used to inoculate against smallpox. Learn more about Jenner, vaccines, and immunology in this learning leaflet.


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Florence Nightingale: Professionalized Health Care

Florence Nightingale Learning Leaflet

How does the visual presentation of statistical evidence support professionalization of health care?

Florence Nightingale championed social reform and the organization of nursing as a profession. During the Crimean War, she organized the care of injured soldiers, making the rounds at night as the ÐLady with the lamp.Ð Her emphasis on hygiene and hand washing dramatically reduced the death rate. This OER explores the breadth of Nightingale's work in the nineteenth century.


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The Celestial Globe: An Introduction

Celestial-Globe-LL.jpg

The night sky looks like an upside-down bowl set on the horizon, but as it turns around during the night it is easy to think of it as a giant sphere. Think of the stars as bright points of light lying on the inside surface of a giant celestial sphere. This sphere rotates around us once a day. A model of the sky as a celestial globe explains the appearances of the sky with simplicity and elegance. Learn more about celestial globes with this learning leaflet.


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"Constellation Coloring Book" adapted from Johann Bode, "Uranographia"

Bode Coloring Book

Johann Bode, director of the Observatory of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, produced the last of the four major celestial atlases in which artful depictions of constellation figures appear alongside the most up-to-date scientific data. 20 large copperplate engravings plot more than 17,000 stars, far more than any previous atlas. Bode included new stars for the southern hemisphere, along with constellations recently invented by Hevelius and Lacaille. Bode depicted more than 100 constellations, compared with 88 officially recognized today. Some which appeared in this atlas for the first time, but are not officially recognized today, include the Cat, the Printing Press, the Montgolfier Balloon, and the Electric Generator.

This coloring book, produced by the OU Academy of the Lynx, was made from images in Bode's book.  

OERs in this set:  Bode Learning Leaflet | Constellation ActivitiesBode Coloring Pages | Bode Original plates


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Inclined Plane: Law of Falling Bodies

Inclined Plane Learning Leaflet

Why were experimental variables (like tilt) so important? 

Galileo described his experiment with an inclined plane in Two New Sciences. In this work, Galileo furthered a research tradition in physics known as "impetus." This tradition, begun in the 6th century CE with John Philoponos, sought to explain motion. A body falling straight down accelerates too fast to be measured, so Galileo constructed his inclined plane in order to study it in slow motion.  Galileo's inclined plane provided experimental confirmation of the law of free fall.


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Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices is the only one of the modern 88 official constellations named after a historical figure. It represents the hair of Berenice, Queen of Egypt (267 221 BCE), who reigned with Ptolemy III Euergetes. Learn more about this in this learning leaflet.


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