The Ninth Conference on the


Tradition and Innovation

'Tradition & Innovation'

All sessions will be held in Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, London EC1N 2HH, unless otherwise stated. Lunch and tea/coffee breaks will be held in the room known and labelled as ‘The Headmaster’s Study.’ Keynote and invited talks by Gresham professors and INSAP Committee members are indicated in bold. The INSAP Committee reserves the right to make changes to the programme where absolutely necessary due to unforeseen circumstances.

Download the full programme

Monday 24 August 2015

08.45 – 10.00 Registration and Welcome by Chairman of INSAP, Ron Olowin

Morning Session: Astronomy and Culture: Historical and Local Topics
Chair: Nicholas Campion

10.00 – 10.30 Coffee/Tea (in the ‘Head Master’s Study’)

10.30 – 11.15 Ronald Olowin, INSAP Committee Chairman
Eureka! Cosmic Explorations of Archimedes, Alexander von Humboldt and Edgar Allan Poe

11.15 – 11.40 Christopher J. Corbally and Margaret Boone Rappaport, Vatican Observatory & University of Arizona
When Hominins First Looked Up and Saw Constellations

11.40 – 12.05 Harald Gropp, Independent Scholar
Prehistoric circles from Neolithic Times till Bronze Age: Was there pre-Euclidean geometry?

12.05 – 12.30 Safari F. Grey, University of Wales
Homer’s Odyssey: Astronomy and the influence of the Near East

12.30 – 12.55 George Latura, Independent Scholar
Zodiacal Light: Forgotten For A Thousand Years

1.00 – 2.00 pm Lunch

Afternoon Session: Inspiration and Music
Chair: Ronald Olowin

2.00 – 2.40 pm Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank (Invited)
Proving Einstein Right

2.40 – 3.05 pm Paolo Molaro, Astronomical Observatory of Trieste
A new portrait of Galileo Galilei?

3.05 - 3.30 pm David Morgan, Ross School Innovation Lab
Einstein, Galileo, and Kepler: The Operas of Philip Glass

3.30 – 3.55 pm Angelo Adamo, Bologna Astronomical Observatory
Night is Sound: Concerts for starry nights and orchestra by John Cage

3.55 – 4.20 pm Tea/Coffee

4.20 – 4.45 Marek Kukula, Royal Observatory Greenwich
Science, beauty and public engagement at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

4.45 – 5.30 Valerie Shrimplin, Gresham College (INSAP Committee)
Sir Christopher Wren: Architect-Astronomer

6.00 – 7.00 pm Nicholas Campion, University of Wales, Book Launch and Reception

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Morning Session: Pre-Columbian and Other Cultures
Chair: Valerie Shrimplin

9.00 – 9.40 Carolin Crawford, Institute of Astronomy Cambridge
When Galaxies Collide

9.40 – 10.05 Annette S. Lee, St Cloud State University, Minnesota
The Cosmos As Viewed Through the Lens of a Native-American Astronomer-Artist

10.05 – 10.30 Lynda Harris, Independent Scholar
Current understandings of the Milky Way: Scientific and Spiritual

10.30 – 10.50 Coffee/Tea (in foyer to auditorium)

10.50 – 11.15 Duane Hamacher, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Dance machines and astronomy in contemporary Torres Strait Islander traditions

11.15 – 11.40 Nandivada Rathnasree, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi, India (by video)
Inspiration of Celestial Phenomena in the works of Kalidasa (4th-5th century AD)

11.40 – 12.05 Segla D. Aimé, University of Abomey-Calavi, Centre Universitaire d'Aplahoué - Benin Republic (west Africa)
Yoruba Cosmological incorporations ‘here and there’ in Fon Culture (West Africa)

12.05 – 12.30 Roberto Trotta, Imperial College London
The Power of Simplicity

1.00 – 2.00 pm Lunch

Afternoon Session: Planetaria and Outreach
Chair: Chris Impey

2.00 – 2.40 pm Andrew Fabian, Institute of Astronomy Cambridge
Invited speaker; Title to be confirmed

2.40 – 3.05 pm Reza Assasi, McGill University, Quebec, Canada
Mithraeum as a Symbolic Planetarium

3.05 - 3.30 pm Daniel Brown, Nottingham Trent University
Memories unlocked and places explored: Stellarium a canvas to explore the temporality of skyscapes

3.30 – 3.55 pm Melanie Vandenbrouck, Royal Museums, Greenwich (in absentia)
Collecting cosmic aesthetics: contemporary art for the Royal Observatory Greenwich

3.55 – 4.20 pm Tea/Coffee

4.20 – 4.45 pm Daniela De Paulis, PhD candidate Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam
AstroArts: the Arts and Culture Programme of Astronomers Without Borders

6.00 – 8.00 pm Lord Rees of Ludlow, Keynote Speaker
A Cosmic Perspective: Four Centuries of Expanding Horizons

NB To be held at the Royal College of Surgeons, and followed by panel discussion and a reception

Wednesday 26 August 2015

08.45 – 09.00 Announcements

Morning Session: Philosophical, Religious and Spiritual Themes
Chair: Ronald Olowin

09.00 – 09.40 Nicholas Campion, University of Wales (INSAP Committee)
The Moral Philosophy of Space Travel

9.40 – 10.05 José Funes, Vatican Observatory, Vatican City
A Cosmic End: from the Earth to the Universe

10.05 – 10.30 Elizabeth Wallace, Giraffe 'n' Ant Productions, Maryland, USA
Effect of an Astronomical Narrative on the Brain

10.30 – 10.50 Coffee/Tea

10.50 – 11.15 Stefano Sandrelli, INAF OsservaTORIO Astronomico di Brera, Italy
Cosmos as a permanent Utopia realm

11.15 – 11.40 Howard Carlton, University of Birmingham
Condensing from a fluid haze: John Pringle Nichol, the nebular hypothesis and nineteenth-century cosmogony

11.40 – 12.05 pm Rafael Gil Brand, Head of DAV School in North Germany
The Golden Mean, an Unexpected Rationale Underlying Ancient Astrological Patterns

12.05 – 12.45 Michael Rowan-Robinson, Imperial College
Invited speaker; Title to be confirmed

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch

Afternoon Session: Space Travel, ‘Otherworlds’ and the Unusual
Chair: Rolf Sinclair

2.00 – 2.40 Chris Impey, University of Arizona (INSAP Committee)
Dreams of Other Worlds

2.40 – 3.05 Clive Davenhall, Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Mars and the Mediums

3.05 – 3.30 Jay M. Pasachoff, Williams College Massachusetts, and Kevin J. Kilburn, Manchester Astronomical Society, UK
John Bevis's 18th-century Atlas Celeste: An Oft-Overlooked Treasure

3.30 – 3.55 Michael Geffert, Bonn University, Germany
The photographic plate archive as an inspiration for art projects

Thursday 27 August 2015

Morning Session: Astronomy and the History of Art
Chair: Gary Wells

09.00 – 09.40 Richard Poss, University of Arizona (INSAP Committee)
The Cosmological Compass in Western Art

9.40 – 10.05 Frank Keim, University of Ulm, Germany
The Astronomical Meaning of Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus'

10.05 – 10.30 Giangiacomo Gandolfi, Rome Planetarium
The Strange Case of Raphael's Planetary Hours: How Astronomy and Iconography Reveal a Neoclassical Forgery

10.30 – 10.50 Coffee/Tea

10.50 – 11.15 Liana De Girolami Cheney, Universita di Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Galileo Galilei's Commemorative Tomb in Santa Croce: Art, Light and the Stars

11.15 – 11.40 Michael Mendillo, Boston University and Ethan Pollock
Christ and the Celestial Sphere: A Unique Mosaic in St. Isaac's Cathedral?

11.40 – 12.05 Catherine Blackledge, Independent Scholar
When the Luminaries Meet

12.05 – 12.30 John Hatch, Western University, London, Canada
East Meets West: Shi Zhiying's Picturing of Italo Calvino's 'Mr. Palomar'

12.30 – 12.55 Tarja Trygg, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Invisible / Visible

1.00 – 2.00 pm Lunch

Afternoon Session: Astronomy and the History of Art (continued)
Chair: Richard Poss

2.00 – 2.40 pm Gary Wells, Ithaca College, New York (INSAP Committee)
Balla’s 'Transit of Mercury' and the Modernist Sun

2.40 – 3.05 Rolf Sinclair (founder and former INSAP Chairman),
Centro de Estudios Cientificos, Valdivia, Chile
Conference Summary and commentary

3.05 - 3.45 pm Discussion on the future aims, direction and meetings of INSAP
Led by Chris Impey (INSAP Committee member)

3.45 – 6.00 pm The Hall will be set up for dinner and will not be available

6.00 – 7.00 pm Drinks reception in the Courtyard (weather permitting)

7.30 – 9.00 pm Conference Dinner (only those who booked in advance)
With closing and concluding remarks by Ron Olowin INSAP Chairman

The International Executive Committee of INSAP - Copyright 2015