Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600) and the new series of Cosmos
Hopefully some of you will have seen Carl Sagan's amazing program about the universe: "Cosmos".
An updated version, written by the writer of the original, Ann Druyan, has just been made. The first part airs this Sunday (16th).
In preparation for it, I thought it might be interesting to have a discussion about a person who Druyan will be mentioning during the series (I don't know in which episode): Giordano Bruno.
Bruno wasn't a scientist, as we'd recognise the role. He was in fact an ordained Catholic friar, as were most of the educated Europeans of that period. But he arrived at a set of views about the universe that differed from those enforced by the church of his time, and he stood by those views even when threatened with death; the story of how this came about is an interesting one.
I'll split it into several replies, for readability.