I had the pleasure of editing William Sheehan’s Experience Galileo’s Italy for our May 2009 special issue marking the 400-year anniversary of the telescope. Sheehan is an author, psychiatrist, and amateur astronomer in Willmar, Minnesota. His latest book is A Passion for Planets, which Springer is slated to publish this year.
Sheehan’s article for Astronomy is a rich and detailed tour through Galileo’s life and work, focusing on the places he lived and worked. The project grew out of a tour to Rome and Florence that Sheehan led for MWT Associates in January 2007. I asked him about the tour and how it enriched his understanding of and appreciation for Galileo’s life and work.