Gravity’s Hero

Galileo was a great marketer, said the head of the Medici Project Martha Mc-Geary Snider, when we met at the American Academy of Rome.

Contemporary marketing gurus and branding experts could not dispute that the 16th-century astronomer-physicist had something more than technology to have transcended four centuries and still be known by his first name. After all, his peer, Giordano Bruno, had both a similar scientific philosophy and a similar, unfortunate end, but not the lustrous legacy.

Galileo’s then-radical theories have since been proved by instruments evolved from his initial designs. But the wonderful content of his discoveries doesn’t fully explain his success. It has to do with his published works, the three compendia he wrote recording in illustrated detail the results of his observations, experiments and ideas–– excerpts of which can be seen on these pages.

In this issue, we present Galileo’s particular mark, not just on science, but on thinking, experimenting and, even marketing, as recounted by contemporary scientists and writers.

Claudia Palmira