John Heilbron, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, now spends most of the year in England. Proximity to the Bodleian has driven him from the 20th to the 17th century and from the history and institutions of modern physics to the life and times of Galileo. This retrogradation resulted in a biography (Galileo, Oxford 2010) and a renewed interest in the relations between science and religion. That has taken him forward again, into the 18th century, with studies of Roger Boscovich, Jean-André Deluc, and Pope Benedict XIV. His assignment for the conference, ‘The Future of Galileo,’ takes him well beyond all his previous itineraries.
Heilbron is the author of many books on the history of physics and history of astronomy. His most recent titles include Jean-André Deluc: Historian of Earth and Man (edited, with René Sigrist, Slatkine 2011); Love, Literature and the Quantum Atom: Niels Bohr's 1913 Triology Revisited (with Finn Aaserud, Oxford 2013); Physics, A Short History from Quintessence to Quarks (Oxford 2015); Galileo in England: The Mystery of a Portrait at Kingston Lacy (in preparation with Alison Browning).