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SSI2-153: Scientific Controversies

BEAM Framework


BEAM is an acronym intended to help you think about the various ways you might use sources when writing a researched argument. Joseph Bizup, an English professor at Boston University, outlined the framework in a 2008 article. The idea has since been refined and adapted by many others.

BEAM in Action

Using the BEAM framework, a preliminary bibliography on Galileo and the controversy over heliocentrism might look like this:


Norton, Stephen D. "Galileo Galilei." In Science and Its Times, edited by Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer, 367-368. Vol. 3, 1450 to 1699. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library (accessed February 4, 2017).


Galilei, Galileo. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican. 2d ed. Translated by Stillman Drake. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

Mayer, Thomas F., ed. The Trial of Galileo, 1612-1633. North York, Ont.: University of Toronto Press, 2012. Contains a selection of translated and annotated primary sources related to the trial.


Gingerich, Owen. "Galileo, the Impact of the Telescope, and the Birth of Modern Astronomy." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 155, (2011): 134-141. 

Graney, Christopher M. "But Still, It Moves: Tides, Stellar Parallax, and Galileo's Commitment to the Copernican Theory." Physics In Perspective 10, (2008): 258-268. 

Langford, Jerome J. Galileo, Science, and the Church. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992.

Mayer, Thomas F. "The Roman Inquisition's Precept to Galileo (1616)." British Journal for the History Oo Science 43, (2010): 327-351. 

Rothman, Aviva. "Forms of Persuasion: Kepler, Galileo, and the Dissemination of Copernicanism." Journal For The History Of Astronomy 40, (2009): 403-419. 

Shea, William R., and Artigas, Mariano. Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.


McMullin, Ernan.  "Scientific Controversy and Its Termination."  In: Scientific Controversies: Case Studies in the Resolution and Closure of Disputes in Science and Technology. Edited by H. Tristram Engelhardt,  and Arthur L. Caplan. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987: 49-91.