International Conference
Museum of Science of the University of Lisbon, September 24 to 26, 2009
The United Nations 62nd General Assembly, in order to celebrate the 400th
anniversary of Galileo’s first telescopic observations, has declared 2009 as the
International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). It is intended with this celebration to make
widely known the importance of Astronomy as a science and as a technique. Among the
different strategies proposed to reach this aim, the Portuguese National Committee of
the IYA2009, formed by the Portuguese Society of Astronomy, emphasizes the need to
promote events related to the history of Astronomy.
This is particularly adequate to the Portuguese situation, as in our country there
is still a lack of knowledge about the History of Astronomy, which we also can see in
the lack of bibliography in Portuguese about this theme. This is fully admitted in the
National Proposal of a Plan of Activities prepared by Portuguese National Organization
preliminary version of 23/07/2007, 3.1.5, p. 7).
In Portugal, throughout its history, astronomy was developed in the context of
mathematical sciences. During the times of Portugal’s Maritime Discoveries,
astronomical navigation was based on spherical trigonometry, and therefore it was the
mathematicians who taught astronomy to the pilots. During the 17th century, basic
notions of astronomy were taught in mathematical courses in the University and in the
main Jesuit colleges. This tradition continued in the 18th century, so it is no wonder that
one of the most influent Portuguese astronomers during this period was the
mathematician José Monteiro da Rocha. During the 19th century the new centres of
science teaching, as the Polytechnic School in Lisbon, or the Polytechnic Academy in
Oporto, developed astronomy teaching and research in the context of the mathematics
subjects. The inheritors of these 19th century institutions, respectively the Faculties of
Sciences of Lisbon and Oporto, upheld this tradition during the 20th century and
continued to consider astronomy as a subject to be taught in their mathematics
As in Portugal the history of astronomy is deeply tied up to the history of
mathematics, a meeting on the history of astronomy is an excellent opportunity for our
mathematics institutions to support IYA2009, allowing scholars and Portuguese
researchers on the history of astronomy not only the opportunity of discussing these
matters among themselves but also to listen and to talk to some of the best nonPortuguese researchers in this area, contributing to include Portugal in the international
net of history of astronomy researchers. Some of the most important mathematics
research centres in Portugal are sponsoring this conference: CMAF, CMUC, CMUP and
CIM. Also the Portuguese Society of Mathematics and the Portuguese Society of
Astronomy are supporting this conference.
Luís Saraiva (CMAF, MCUL, U. Lisboa)
Carlos Sá (CMUP, U. Porto)
António Duarte-Leal (CMUC, U. Coimbra)
Luís Miguel Carolino (MCUL, CHCUL, U. Lisboa)
Michael Hoskin (U. Cambridge)- "The cosmovision of the dolmen builders of southwest Europe"
Sérgio Nobre (Unesp, Rio Claro, Brasil)- “The astronomy presented by Isidore of
Seville in his (W\PRORJLDH”
José Chabas (U. Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)- "Traditions in computational astronomy in
the Iberian Peninsula in Late Medieval Ages".
José Vaquero (U. Extremadura)- "Long-term evolution of the Sun from Iberian
historical documents".
Henrique Leitão (FCUL, CHCUL) – “A mathematical and astronomical "miracle": the
dial of Achaz” (working title)
Luis Tirapicos (MCUL) "Instruments and astronomical observations at the Jesuit
College of SantoAntão o Novo, 1724-1759"
Jim Bennett (History of Science Museum, U. Oxford)- “The European Geography of
Eighteenth-Century Astronomy” (titulo provisório)
Roberto de Andrade Martins (Unicamp, Brasil)-"The interaction between academic
thought and nautical knowledge in Portugal and Spain"
Carlos Ziller Camenietzsky (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)- "Astrônomos e
Astrólogos de Portugal Restaurado" (titulo provisório).
Ugo Baldini (U. Pádua)- "The first concrete testimony of telescopic astronomy in
Portugal: Giovanni Paolo Lembo'
s lessons in S. Antao"
Heloisa Gesteira (MAST, Rio de Janeiro)- “The acurate mesure of Portuguese America:
science and politics in the works of Domenico Capacci e Diogo Soares (1730 -1750).”
Fernando Figueiredo (U. Coimbra)- «Astronomy in the Mathematics Faculty of the
Coimbra University after Pombal’ s University Reform (1772-1820)”»
Isabel Malaquias (U. Aveiro)- "Between Astronomy and instrumentation - João Jacinto
de Magalhães, an 18th century remarkable case".
Luís Miguel Carolino (MCUL)- “ The teaching of Astronomy at the Lisbon Polytechnic
School in the 19th century”
Pedro Raposo (OAL)- “ Observatory of Lisbon: the last "big science" undertaking of
classical astronomy?”
Helmuth Malonek/ T. Costa (U. Aveiro) -"Francisco Miranda da Costa Lobo - a
Portuguese astronomer and his attempts to open Portugal to the Scientific World"
Vitor Bonifácio (U. Aveiro)- “ The beginning of astrophysics in Portugal”
Paulo Crawford/Ana Simões (FCUL, CHCUL) – "Astronomers and the Principle of
Relativity: a Portuguese case study"

International Conference +LVWRU\ RI $VWURQRP\ LQ