Biard Lecture: "The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars" with Dava Sobel
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Location: Ohio Union, Performance Hall
Time: 7 p.m.
Host: Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics
In the 1870s, before women had the right to vote or a firm standing in the workplace, a lucky few found employment at the Harvard College Observatory. The first female assistants were born to the work—as the wives, daughters, and sisters of the resident astronomers.
Over time other ladies joined the group, thanks to the director’s farsighted hiring practices and the introduction of photography to astronomy. Instead of observing through the telescope by night, the women could analyze the stars in daylight on glass photographic plates. Harvard's female workforce grew accordingly, and its individual members won national and international acclaim for their discoveries.
Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of Longitude (Walker 1995 and 2005, Penguin 1996), Galileo's Daughter (Walker 1999 and 2011, Penguin 2000), The Planets (Viking 2005, Penguin 2006), and A More Perfect Heaven (Walker / Bloomsbury, 2011 and 2012). She has also co-authored six books, including Is Anyone Out There? with astronomer Frank Drake. A long-time science contributor to Harvard Magazine, Audubon, Discover, Life, Omni, and The New Yorker, she currently writes for the on-line Aeon.
The R. Jack and Forest Lynn Biard Cosmology and Astrophysics Lecture is an annual series of lectures created and endowed by a generous estate gift by the late Captain Forrest R. Biard, U.S. Navy. Free and open to the public, the twice-annual lectures bring recognized speakers at the forefront of cosmology and astrophysics research to campus for the benefit of the university and central Ohio community. For more information on this event, please click here.
The cornerstone of CCAPP's outreach effort, the Biard Lecture allows scientists and non-scientists alike to learn about new discoveries, theories, and experiments in the field of astrophysics. In addition to increasing public awareness of the scientific advances made possible by taxpayer-supported funding, the Biard Lectures are an opportunity for the public to experience and enjoy the wonders of scientific exploration.