Characteristics of the methods of modern scienceThe fourth centenary of the telescope is the occasion for UNESCO to proclaim 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. The opening months of the year sees Padua, home of the birth of the scientific revolution of Galileo Galilei, host an exhibition which examines the main characteristics of the science, tracing its history from Galileos methods up to the present day. The exhibition takes place at the new cultural centre San Gaetano and runs from 28 February until 28 June 2009. Galileos discoveries were the climax of a tradition which had begun in the 15th century realised the step from manual and technical understanding to pure contemplation, an aspect which became the bedrock for the new science, thus breaking a thousand-year tradition. The book of nature, so Galileo maintained, should be leafed through with curiosity and freedom, without being subject to the authoritarian restrictions until his time rigidly enforced of the book knowledge which attempts to find an understanding of the natural world through the writings of the ancients. For this reason he considered it essential not only to observe the heavens but also to experiment, to verify hypotheses based on mathematical demonstrations. This new experimental science came about after much difficulty during the 17th century, preserving its essential aspects until today. Beginning with Galileos own work and passing through striking examples of the following centuries, the exhibition shows experiments and multimedia simulations as well as precious antique scientific instruments and intriguing modern tools. It is aimed for all ages and all levels of awareness of this fascinating science.