page last updated 17 December 05

Photo of Dana DensmoreAbout Dana Densmore 
and William H. Donahue

Dana Densmore

Dana Densmore, co-director and chief editor of Green Lion Press, is an independent scholar with extensive experience in teaching, publishing, and computer technology. After earning her BA at St. John's College in Annapolis in 1965, she worked as a systems programmer at MIT for the Apollo Project and the Space Shuttle. One of her responsibilities here was coordination of all the on-board guidance, navigation, and control programs for the Lunar Lander. Subsequently she helped design a state-of-the-art on-board guidance computer system for advanced space missions, specializing in design of the real-time multiprocessing operating system. She also helped develop and market a proprietary methodology for software engineering design for large real-time guidance and control applications. She left MIT in 1977 to work in industry, eventually becoming senior product planner for Nixdorf Computer Corporation.

During her time in Boston, she was active with the MIT Outing Club, for which she taught rock climbing, winter mountaineering, and winter safety, and organized and conducted mountaineering leadership training for the Club. She has actively trained in martial arts since 1968 and has run her own schools in several cities since 1974. She organized the first continental conference for teachers of women's martial arts and self defense in 1975 and founded, edited, and published a magazine for that field. She was a leading theorist for the emerging feminist movement and published the first journal of feminist theory beginning in August 1968 and running through 1974. She organized and facilitated reading groups and study groups, co-taught a humanities course at the New England Conservatory of Music, and helped organize and lead a series of seminars for St. John's College alumni. She is a long-time board member of The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press, and for two years was Senior Editor and Research Director for that organization in Washington DC. She also developed a system of self empowerment, built up a private practice of coaching and counseling for those skills, and published a journal of self-empowerment theory for students and clients. In 1982 she retired from her computer career and moved to New Mexico, where she continued work on teaching, research, and writing projects she had begun in Boston.

She was appointed Tutor at St. John's College, Santa Fe, in 1987, where she led tutorials and discussions in the acclaimed St. John's College great books curriculum. Among subjects she taught were ancient, medieval, and modern literature and philosophy; ancient Greek mathematics and astronomy; Galileian and Newtonian physics; non-Euclidean geometry; electrodynamics; and special relativity. In 1993 she received her MA from St. John's for a thesis on the cause of gravity in Newton's Principia. While leading students through the Principia, she developed a series of notes and expansions which became the nucleus of her book, Newton's Principia: The Central Argument. In 1994, she left St. John's to finish the book and to found the Green Lion Press.

Dana is active on the Training Committee of the St. John's College Search and Rescue Team, and has lead nationally advertised wilderness trips for Earth Treks and the Sierra Club. 


Photo of William Donahue William H. Donahue

William H. Donahue, co-director and technical manager of Green Lion Press, has been an independent scholar in history of science since 1981 and Director of Laboratories at St. John's College, Santa Fe beginning in 2005.

He received his BA from St. John's College, Annapolis, in 1967, and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England, in 1973. His dissertation, The Dissolution of the Celestial Spheres, 1595-1650, was published by Arno Press in 1981.

From 1973-1976, he taught in the Great Books curriculum at St. John's College in Santa Fe, leading seminars and tutorials in ancient, medieval and modern literature and philosophy; ancient Greek; music; classical physics; and Kepler's astronomy. For this last, he translated substantial selections from Kepler's Astronomia nova. In 1976, he left St. John's to organize and teach mathematics and the sciences at the New School of Santa Fe, a completely individualized primary and secondary school. While at the New School, he organized and directed New Mexico's most extensive school outdoor program, including rock climbing, cross country skiing, white water kayaking and rafting, and wilderness survival skills.

In 1981, he left the New School and obtained an individual grant award from the National Science Foundation to complete the translation of Kepler's Astronomia nova which he had begun while at St. John's (the translation was published by Cambridge University Press in 1992). Subsequently, he received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a guided study of Kepler's Astronomia nova and for the first English translation of Kepler's Optics (the latter now published by Green Lion), and from the American Philosophical Society for study of the Kepler manuscripts in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has published numerous articles on Kepler in the Journal for the History of Astronomy and the British Journal for the History of Science. His 1988 JHA article, "Kepler's fabricated figures: covering up the mess in the New Astronomy", was featured in the New York Times Science Section, and was reported in the media worldwide.

In 2005, Bill was appointed Director of Laboratories at St. John's College, Santa Fe. In this capacity, he administers the college's unique historically-based science program, required of all undergraduates. Topics covered include origins and development of life sciences; physical sciences from ancient and medieval statics and mechanics through the seventeenth-century scientific revolution and Faraday and Maxwell's electrodynamics to relativity theory and quantum mechanics; elements of chemistry (including development of atomic theory); and a developmental approach to evolution and modern genetics.

Bill is an accomplished performer of traditional Appalachian and Irish music, playing the five-string banjo in the "clawhammer" style, old-time fiddle, tenor banjo (Irish tuning), tenor mandolin (the so-called "Irish bouzouki"), and tin whistle. He has played with Distilled Spirits, the Pinetones, and Buion gan Ainm, as well as the now-legendary Pear Shaped Orchestra (consisting only of pear-shaped instruments) and has won several awards at the Santa Fe Fiddle and Banjo Contest.

Bill is also an active mountaineer and outdoorsman. He is a member of and Training Officer for the Atalaya Search and Rescue Team. He has also served as Training Officer of the St. John's College Search and Rescue Team and has lead nationally advertised wilderness trips for Earth Treks and the Sierra Club. 


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