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Tycho Brahe's way to precision. Editorial

: Leavesley, Silas J.; Tárnok, Attila


Cytometry. Part A 93 (2018), Nr.10, S.977-979
ISSN: 1552-4922
ISSN: 0196-4763
Fraunhofer IZI ()

Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was the inventor of precise and reproducible science. My transformation of the novel title by early 20th century writer Max Brodt emphasizes his major impact on performing science the way we do or at least should do today. He for sure was the major astronomer of his time, receiving the island Ven from the Danish king to build there his high end stellar observation instruments (Fig. 1). With substantial financial support from the king he built up stellar observation stations that were the CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, The European Organization for Nuclear Research) of the 16th century. Although he did his observations by eye (telescopes were not yet invented), the precision of the measurements was so spectacular that they were only improved generations later (Fig. 2). His methods to achieve this precision sound now familiar to us because in experimental science we apply comparable approaches: 1) repeated measures; 2) independent techniques and instruments to test the findings and hypothesis; and 3) precise documentation enabling following generations to use his data for further analysis.