What does a study of Medieval Science do for a Scientist today?
One of the more remarkable statements in the Sky and Night article, and one that also sums up at quite a deep level what the Ordered Universe project can deliver for scientists today, is from Richard Bower, the computational cosmologist on the project. He points out how that, once “inside” the logic of Grosseteste’s cosmological physics, how compellingly beautiful and impressive his acheivement, and the Aristotelian cosmos itself, now becomes. Too often an object of glib ridicule from those with the benefit of (eight centuries of) hindsight, Bower points out that Grosseteste was wrong because he made a wrong, but observationally reasonable, assumption (that the earth was in the centre of the universe). He wonders what cosmologists might say in a century’s time about the assumptions that he and his colleagues make today about the properties of dark matter, and beautifully describes how the project puts his own work into the context of a much longer story.