Getting the historical facts right!

The following are taken (without sources) from an exchange on the History of Astronomy mailing list.

Wasn’t this _Charles_ Wheatstone, inventor of the eponymous bridge as well as the stereoscope?

The paper suggests that the technique, called free-fusion stereocomparison, which takes advantage of the brain’s ability to perceive depth by integrating the slightly different views from each eye, was known nearly a thousand years before it was articulated by stereoscope inventor Sir George Wheatstone in the 19th century.

Yes (Charles Wheatstone, 1802-75).

Last night on PBS’s NewsHour, a reporter was commenting on the
wildfire which is threatening Mt. Wilson.  In describing the
observatory’s historical importance, he identified it as the research
facility used by astronomer “Charles” Hubble.  Oh well.  It’s really
hard to keep all these dead white guys straight, especially when it’s
only their last names that are familiar.

Yesterday, on CBS Radio News, Mt. Wilson was “the observatory where Hubble
came up with the Big Bang theory”.

2 Comments

Filed under Odds and Ends

2 responses to “Getting the historical facts right!

  1. Yesterday, on CBS Radio News, Mt. Wilson was “the observatory where Hubble came up with the Big Bang theory”.

    AHHH! ROFL. Poor Lemaitre gets no respect.

    Actually, having been guilty of a few unintended howlers in my own book, I know it is easy to make a slip even when you’re trying not to. In the latest issue of Technology Review, for example, Marcia Bartusiak repeats the standard claim about Lemaitre that he was a Jesuit. He wasn’t. He was a standard diocesan cleric, but you will try in vain to erase this particular myth….

  2. They probably interviewed the janitor. Don’t expect precision from the gutter press.

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