90th anniversary of Eddington’s experiments on Príncipe Island 2009

 90th anniversary of Eddington’s experiments on Príncipe Island


2009 marked the 90th anniversary of Cambridge physicist Arthur Eddington’s astronomical observations of a solar eclipse, performed on the island of Príncipe in May 1919. These observations established a very important landmark in the history of science since they were the first experimental proof of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, proposed in 1916. The results were confirmed by further observations made in Sobral, in Ceará, Brazil.  

SiW – Scientists in the World wishes to celebrate this anniversary with a project which will not only enhance and valorize the role of Portuguese-speaking countries as hosts of these important discoveries (namely through a series of international colloquia to be held in Lisbon), but also, most importantly, promote Science teaching in the PALOPs (Portuguese-speaking African Countries). The project deals with a groundbreaking discovery made in Africa, and can act as a trigger for scientific interest in São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as in the other PALOPs. This project falls well within the scope of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, declared by UNESCO.


Promote Science (particularly Physics) teaching, in the PALOPs and in East Timor;

Promote the Island of Príncipe and the Portuguese-speaking World as hosts of a groundbreaking scientific discovery;

Build cooperation networks aiming at educating Physics professors in the PALOPs and in East Timor, and at eventually
preparing, in these countries, teams for the International Physics Olympiads.

Planned actions (2009):

    1. Courses for Science students and teachers of the PALOPs/CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries);
    creation of an “Eddington” schools network in those countries, to promote future collaborations/education regarding
    Science teaching;

    2. Series of seminars in Portuguese schools, to promote commemorative events, in early 2009;

    3. Series of 4 scientific seminars, accessible to the general public, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon;

    4. Production of a documentary based on Eddington’s experiments in the Island of Príncipe;

    5. Construction of an interpretation centre at the site of the discovery, in the Island of Príncipe;

    6. Participation in the events celebrating Eddington’s experiments, to be held at the Lisbon Geographic Society
    (May 28-29 in Lisbon, May 30 in the Island of Príncipe).

Project coordinator: Vanessa Z. Luís

A SiW agradece o patrocínio de:

ernst young edp spirituc


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