Dr. Gavin Douglas

Associate Professor

Gavin Douglas

The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe by Arthur Koestler

I read this book while doing ethnomusicological fieldwork in Burma/Myanmar. Intended as a respite from my research, the book ended up being about far more than astronomy. This story of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo and the creative, unorthodox means by which they brought new perspectives to our universe had a strong influence on how I understand scholarship and notions of truth and progress. Forever changed were my perceptions of the boundaries between the humanities and the sciences and between cultural politics and scholarly research. To paraphrase Koestler paraphrasing Kepler: the roads by which we arrive at new insights seem almost as worthy of wonder as these matter in themselves.