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Fellow (1 September 2007 - 30 June 2008)
I devoted most of my time at the NIAS to the completion of a research project on the history and philosophy of the concept of symmetry. Together with Bernard R. Goldstein (University of Pittsburgh) we examined closely the trajectory of the concept in the mathematical and scientific disciplines as well as its path in art and architecture from antiquity to the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period (1815). This study is based on primary sources, presented in context. It is available in 2008 as a monograph in the Springer series Archimedes.
Together with James W. McAllister and Vincent Icke of Leiden University, in early March 2008 I organized a workshop in the framework of the interdisciplinary collaboration of the NIAS and the Lorentz Center at Leiden University. The workshop, "Symmetry as a Modern Scientific Concept: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives", brought together an international group of speakers who discussed a variety of themes related to symmetry in aesthetics, mathematics, physics, and biology.
I completed with Bernard R. Goldstein a paper on "What Keeps the Earth in its Place? The Concept of Stability in Plato and Aristotle" and, together with Yaakov Zik, I further developed my research on Kepler's optical studies.
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