In Italy, Students get a History Lesson in Science

• from Meisha Swaby

The his­tory of sci­ence, to say the least, is a com­pre­hen­sive sub­ject. So one group of North­eastern stu­dents on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in Italy this summer focused on the two most sig­nif­i­cant rev­o­lu­tions of sci­en­tific thought: the Sci­en­tific Rev­o­lu­tion and the Com­pu­ta­tional Revolution.

Waleed Meleis, a pro­fessor of elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering, launched the Italy and the Sci­en­tific Rev­o­lu­tions Dia­logue this summer as an oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents to trace the evo­lu­tion of sci­en­tific thought over hun­dreds of years in fields such as chem­istry, alchemy, astronomy, math­e­matics, and medicine.

“The pro­gram was about com­paring two periods: the Sci­en­tific Rev­o­lu­tion and Com­pu­ta­tional Rev­o­lu­tion,” Meleis explained. “During the Sci­en­tific Rev­o­lu­tion there was a big burst of inno­va­tion and new tech­niques and new ways of under­standing the world, and then the com­plete oppo­site followed.”