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Fabrizio Bonoli

Adjunct professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Adjunct professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy


Keywords: History of Astronomy History of Science Astronomy and Astrophysics

My research themes in history of science are addressed to investigate how astronomy, due to its interdisciplinary aspects, never placed itself at a unique level of historical reality, but at the point of intersection among the different levels, and how it is not possible to follow its development without examining the contacts with various disciplines and with various social and cultural environments. Moreover I worked and I'm working on national contributes to evolution of astronomical knowledge, investigating on Professors of Astronomy in Bologna University and, in particular, on Domenico da Novara, teacher of Copernicus in Bologna; on Gian Domenico Cassini, astronomer in Bologna at the half of the 17th century; on Eustachio Manfredi, first Director of Bologna Observatory; on Italian contributes to the beginning of astrophysics and on Italian Astronomical Observatories in the 18th century; finally, I work on study, restoration and exhibition of historical instruments of Bologna Museo della Specola.

I'm involved in the study, restoring and exhibition of the historical instruments of the Bologna Museo della Specola, as well as in reordering, digitization and online publishing of the documents from the Historical Archives of the Department of Astronomy.

Wide archival and bibliographic researches have been made addressed to the writing of the Catalogue of Museo della Specola, which contains a history of astronomy in Bologna and detailed descriptions of the instruments, and to the collecting of the biographies of Professors of Astronomy in Bologna from 12th to 20th century. The latter work served as a starting point for further studies on individual figures and on their influence on evolution of astronomy, so producing some biographies on Treccani's Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani and on Kluwer's Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers.

Among the different activities carried on and in progress, the following can be mentioned.

A conference on the seventh centenary of the teaching of Astronomy in Bologna, dedicated to Bartholomew of Parma, was organized and the proceedings edited.

A wide international archival research has been made on Domenico Maria da Novara, teacher of Copernicus, collecting for the first time all the existing Novara's writings, with the aim to throw a new light on the origins of Copernican ideas.

Studies on the works by Gian Domenico Cassini have been made, on his researches in Bologna and on some unpublished teaching manuscripts, and on Giovanni Battista Riccioli, a Cassini's contemporary in Bologna. I was in charge of all the activities made on occasion of the 2005-Anno Cassiniano.

The study of the evolution of astronomical instruments in 17th-18th centuries is in progress, paying attention to economic, social and political reasons which favoured the technological growth of scientific instrumentation in Europe and the decline of the Italian school.

Themes on cultural astronomy and on ancient cosmologies have been conducted as well.

Some of these researches have been made and are carried on in cooperation with national and foreign colleagues.

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