Mary Kay Hemenway Speaks on 'The Galileo Scandal' in El Paso October 23

21 October 2009

EL PASO — In celebration of 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, The University of Texas at El Paso presents “The Galileo Scandal,” a talk by astronomer Mary Kay Hemenway, a recognized Galileo scholar from The University of Texas at Austin.  The talk will take place Friday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. on the UT-El Paso campus in room 302 of the Education Building.

Four hundred years ago, in the summer of 1609, Galileo Galilei turned a telescope toward the heavens and changed not only his life but the scientific and cultural world of his time.  The world-wide celebration of 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy celebrates this event. Hemenway will examine Galileo's achievements (and failures) with the telescope, his struggles with the Roman Catholic Church, and the resolution of this conflict.

Hemenway is an internationally recognized expert on creating and implementing innovative science teacher-training programs. In 2003, she was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame for Science, Mathematics and Technology. She was instrumental in the launch of the UTeach program at The University of Texas at Austin, which has revolutionized the preparation of mathematics and science teachers and is currently being copied by other universities.

Currently, she carries out federally supported programs with state and local secondary school science teachers, and teaches a variety of astronomy classes at UT-Austin. She works with the education team of McDonald Observatory to prepare and present teacher workshops and field trips for students.

McDonald Observatory is proud to co-sponsor this event as part of our joint celebration with Texas A&M of 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy.

For more background on Hemenway and a detailed calendar of the IYA speaker series, please visit:

For a map of UT El Paso:

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Media Contacts:

Steven Lazarin, Advancement Services, The University of Texas at El Paso,
(915) 747-6409

Rebecca Johnson, Press Officer for The University of Texas at Austin astronomy program, (512) 475-6763

Hemenway, Mary Kay