Dějiny věd a techniky, No. 2, Vol. XLV (2012)


DVT 122, 61
Byl Bruno upálen kvůli svým kosmologickým představám?
Daniel Špelda

Was Bruno burned at the stake because of his cosmological ideas?
In his recently published book Michael White presents an interpretation of historical events based on the concept of the conflicting relationship between science and religion. By examinating the reasons for which Giordano Bruno was burned, the article tries to prove that the conflicting model lacks credibility.

Keywords: Giordano Bruno ● astronomy of the 16th century ● science and religion

Summary: The paper presents the history and analysis of the famous trial of the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno. On the ground of the extant sources, the author argues that the usual explanation of Bruno’s trial is not convincing. In textbooks it is usually assumed that Bruno was sentenced because of his cosmology. But a reading of the extant Inquisition materials shows that Bruno was condemned mainly because of the theological implications of his philosophical and cosmological views. For the Catholic Church, Bruno’s cosmology was not the main problem. Bruno’s disciplinary transgressions, his opinions about the basic tenets of the Christian faith, and his unwillingness to recant were for the Inquisitors far more important than his new cosmology. Although the cosmological theses probably influenced the final sentence, for the Church there were more dangerous ideas in Bruno’s teaching. Therefore the trial of Bruno cannot be considered as evidence of a fundamental hostility between exploration of nature and religion: Bruno was not a scientist in the modern sense; his cosmological theories were speculative and played only a minor role in the process itself.

DVT 122, 88
I. ideologická konference vysokoškolských vědeckých pracovníků v Brně a její místo v dějinách československé jazykovědy v 50. letech 20. století
Vít Boček

The First Ideological Conference of Academic Workers in Brno and its place in the history of Czechoslovak linguistics in the fifties of the twentieth century.
The paper discusses the significance of The First Ideological Conference of Academic Workers, held in 1952, for strengthening the power of Marxist ideology in Czechoslovak sciences, arts and humanities, especially in Czechoslovak linguistics.

Keywords: history of Czechoslovak science • Marxist ideology • Czechoslovak linguistics • marrism • cosmopolitism • objectivism

Summary: The paper deals with The First Ideological Conference of Academic Workers, held in 1952 in Brno. The conference was organized by the communist regime in order to strengthen the power of Marxist ideology in Czechoslovak sciences, arts and humanities. The article discusses the broader ideological context and the circumstances and consequences of the main program declared at the meeting, i.e. a struggle against so-called “cosmopolitism” and “objectivism.” The second part of the paper examines the participation of five prominent representatives of Czechoslovak linguistics – Indo-Europeanist and etymologist Václav Machek, Slavist Josef Kurz, Anglist Josef Vachek, Slavist Bohuslav Havránek, and Bohemist František Trávníček – in the conference. They each participated in the conference for different reasons. Some of them probably had no choice but to take part in the thoroughly controlled and in a way grotesque meeting with an a priori scenario. For others, this was apparently an opportunity to become even more integrated into the scientific establishment of the period.

DVT 122, 105
Vladimír Bárta a jeho podíl na formování československého elektrotechnického průmyslu
Eva Mušková

Vladimír Bárta and his contribution to the formation of the Czechoslovak electro-technical industry.
The study deals with the life and the work of Czech electrical engineer Vladimír Bárta (1890–1973), who significantly contributed to the development of a modern and independent Czechoslovak electro-technical industry. He made a strong mark in the Elektrotechnická továrna (Electro-Technical Factory) in Pilsen-Doudlevce, and he engaged intensely in investigating the history of heavy current electrical engineering. The aim of the study is not only to sum up the biographical data about Bárta but also to integrate this still little-known figure of Czech electrical engineering in the broader context.

Keywords: Vladimír Bárta ● Czechoslovak electro-technical industry ● Elektrotechnická továrna (Electro-Technical Factory) in Pilsen-Doudlevce ● history of electrical engineering

Summary: Vladimír Bárta (1890–1973) was a Czech electrical engineer, who contributed significantly to the development of a modern and independent Czechoslovak electro-technical industry. He played a major role in the history of Elektrotechnická továrna (Electro-Technical Factory, ETD) in Pilsen – Doudlevce, where he worked from 1924, first as a head of calculations of electric machines, then as a head of technical office (1925–1928), as head of the entire electrical factory (1928–1930), and later as its director (1930–1942 and 1945–1950). Thanks to Bárta, ETD became a factory comparable to other electro-technical factories in the world. During the Nazi occupation, he refused to enter into a licensing agreement with the German company AEG and therefore was forced to retire. After the war he returned to the leadership of ETD and stayed there until 1950. In retirement, he engaged intensely in the history of heavy current electrical engineering and created a remarkable historical work. Especially important was his long-term research on František Křižík.


DVT 122, 124
Ignác von Born a Royal Society
Mikuláš Teich

Ignatz von Born and the Royal Society.
One of the important premises for the funded biography on Ignatz von Born is that it not be limited to his activities and the results he achieved in the context of the Central Europe. He and his multifaceted work also need to be situated in the international context. That was the impetus for this minor but hopefully beneficial contribution.

Key words: enlightener ● mineralogist ● geologist ● metallurgist ● 2nd half of the 20th century ● Central Europe ● Austria

Summary: In the 1960s the author was not successful in finding files in the archives of the Royal Society on Born’s admission as a member. Yet Born is always cited as Royal Society Member on the front pages of his papers. Other historical texts agree with the fact. That is why author tried to clarify the ambiguity about the Born’s admission to the foremost English scientific society. This time, the author found solid clues in archival material of the Royal Society. There are two documents certifying that Born was designated and also affiliated as a member. The author then demonstrates that the former negative information arose from a misunderstanding.

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