Dr. Steven Dick, Former NASA Chief Historian, will present a public lecture in Notre Dame’s Digital Visualization Theater, Jordan Hall of Science, on Saturday, February 23rd at 7 PM.
In 2006 Pluto was controversially demoted to dwarf planet status. This infamous episode is the point of departure for a discussion of the nature of discovery over the last 400 years of telescopic astronomy. What constitutes a “new class” of astronomical object? Who decides if a spiral galaxy, quasar, or pulsar is a new class? Has dark matter really been “discovered”? And how do these claims come to be accepted among scientists and the public?