One of the greatest discoveries of modern times is that of the expanding Universe, almost invariably attributed to Hubble (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 15:168, 1929). What is not widely known is that the original treatise by Lemaître (Annales de la Société Scientifique de Bruxelles, Sèrie A 47:49, 1927) contained a rich fusion of both theory and of observation. The French paper was meticulously censored when published in English: all discussions of radial velocities and distances, and the very first empirical determination of H 0 , were suppressed. Stigler's law of eponymy is yet again affirmed: no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer (Merton, American Sociological Review 22(6):635, 1957). An appeal is made for a Lemaître Telescope naming opportunity, to honour the discoverer of the expanding universe.
Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy
- Pub Date:
- Physics - History and Philosophy of Physics;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- Revised title and text with a Note Added in Proof, containing emphasis of reflections by Lemaitre himself in 1950. To appear in "Georges Lemaitre: Life, Science and Legacy. Proceedings of the 80th Anniversary Conference held by the Faraday Institute, St Edmund's College, Cambridge."