Most popularly known by his surname, Nicolaus Copernicus is considered by many to be father of modern astronomy. He is known for being the first to go public with heliocentric theory in his work ‘De revolutionibus’ or ‘About Revolutions’; a treatise containing the theory that Earth and the other planets orbited around the sun. This was a direct contradiction of the geocentric theory that had prevailed since the time of Ptolemy; the belief that Earth, and subsequently mankind, were at the center of the universe. There is still an air of mystery about the man many call the father of the scientific revolution – he lived a quiet life, devoted to his scholastic pursuits and his career as a canon scholar for varying chapters of the Catholic Church. The eternal student, he spent his life studying law, math, and medicine while he fulfilled his duties to the church and even acting as an ambassador for his country. It was only after a lifetime of study and astronomical observation that he was able to formulate the theory that changed the way we thought about the cosmos, which he published despite his fear of persecution at the hands of the church he loved.
Copernicus and and the scientific revolution (2011)
Chasing the revolutions of Copernicus: The history of cosmology (2004) – Lecture