From 1000 AD to Galileo`s conviction in 1632, Italy furnished 34.7% of the world`s scientific eminence. From then up through 1950, it only accounted for 3.46%. Now that`s what I call an order of magnitude!
Italian contributions to science (measured at the scientist`s 40th birthday) continued on fairly strong for the rest of the 17th Century, so the Galileo trial impact wasn`t immediate. Of course, the 17th Century was like Andy Warhol`s factory—everybody was a genius! (Except, in the 17th Century there really were geniuses throughout Europe). But, in Italy slowly things sloooowed down, as they sped up elsewhere.
We`re not used to things getting more boring and unproductive, but it has been a common tendency throughout history, and one we may get familiar with again.