Cosmology

Submitted
Schechner, Sara J., and Susanna Cecilia Berger. “Observations on Niccolò Tornioli’s The Astronomers” (Submitted).Abstract
We analyze the iconography of the painting, paying special attention to the scientific instruments, diagrams, celestial phenomena, and individuals, in order to show the limitiations of an iconographic approach as well as to offer new interpretations.  We suggest that the painting highlights the importance of visual representations and guided conversation in scientific observational practices in early modern Europe,
2014
Time and Time Again: How Science and Culture Shape the Past, Present, and Future
Schechner, Sara J. Time and Time Again: How Science and Culture Shape the Past, Present, and Future. Cambridge: Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University, 2014.Abstract

Time:  We find it, keep it, measure it, obey it, rely on it, waste it, save it, chop it and try to stop it.  We organize our lives around it, and yet, do we really know what time is?  Drawing upon collections in Harvard’s scientific, historical archaeological, anthropological, and natural history museums and libraries, the book explores the answers given to that question in different ages by different world cultures and disciplines.  Themes include time finding from nature and time keeping by human artifice.  Readers of this book will explore cultural beliefs about the creation and end of time, the flow of time, and personal time as marked by rites of passage.  They will take time out, and examine the power of keeping time together in music, dance, work, and faith.  They will explore time’s representation in history and objects of personal memory, its personification in art, and its expression in biological evolution and the geological transformations of our planet. Featured objects include portable sundials and precision clocks, calendars from different cultures and epochs, time charts shaped like animals, Mesopotamian, Native American, and African ritual objects, fossils, metamorphosing creatures, and Julia Child’s stopwatch.

2008
Schechner, Sara J. “New Worlds, New Scientific Instruments: Cosmology, Mathematics, and Power at the Time of Jamestown.” In The World of 1607, 229-239. Williamsburg: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, 2008.
2006
Schechner, Sara J. “The Adventures of Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and a Sundial.” In East and West: The Common European Heritage, Book of Abstracts of the XXV Scientific Instrument Symposium. Krakow, Poland: Jagiellonian University Museum, 2006.
Schechner, Sara J. “The Adventures of Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and a Sundial.” East and West: The Common European Heritage, Proceedings of the XXV Scientific Instrument Symposium. Krakow, Poland: Jagiellonian University Museum, 2006.
1997
Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology
Schechner, Sara J. Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. Princeton
1990
Schechner-Genuth, Sara. “Blazing Stars, Open Minds, and Loosened Purse Strings: Astronomical Research and Its Early Cambridge Audience.” In Two Astronomical Anniversaries: HCO & SAO. Chalfont St. Giles, England: Science History Publications for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1990.
1984
Genuth, Sara Schechner. “The Teleological Role of Comets in 17th and 18th Century Natural Philosophy.” Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 16, no. 2 (1984): 476-477.