Known as the “Father of the Big Bang Theory,” Georges Lemaître was given credit for his proposal of an expanding universe with an official renaming of the theory.
In 1927, Belgian astronomer and priest Father Georges Lemaître first proposed the idea of an expanding universe starting with a “big bang,” previously known as the Hubble Law after astronomer Edwin Hubble.
“The Hubble law describes the effect by which objects in an expanding Universe move away from each other with a velocity proportionally related to their distance.”
However, a recent vote by the membership of the International Astronomical Union officially renamed the Big Bang Theory to give due credit to Father Lemaître’s contributions to the field, as he published his ideas two years prior to Hubble.
“To acknowledge the scientific contributions of Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaître to the scientific theory of the expansion of the Universe, the International Astronomical Union has decided to recommend the Hubble law to be renamed as the Hubble–Lemaître law.”
Some historians argue that Lemaître might have discussed his ideas with Hubble in 1928 during a general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, but the real reason Lemaître went overlooked lies in him publishing his results in French in an obscure Belgian journal.
“The meeting almost certainly didn’t take place. Hubble was clearly involved, but was not the first. He was good at selling his story.”