It is at least unusual for dramatists to put scientists and the social implications of research in center stage. Bertolt Brecht -an unusual dramatist if there’s any- did just that, economically and elegantly, in his play Galileo. The scope of the play is incredibly broad: Plagiarism, elitism, relations with businessmen, with the Church, and with sponsors, the social responsibility of scientists, and the impact of their work on the general population; all of this concentrated in a few short scenes, sometimes in a couple of loaded phrases. Brecht, as in the rest of his plays, does not give us any answers, but he asks questions better than most.
The overarching theme, of course, is the fight to disseminate the truth when it hurts the interests of the powerful. Considering how religious dogmatism and political interests escalate their efforts to muddle scientific truth in our times, it’s still a very relevant read.