Montauk Observatory will host New York Times best-selling author and East Hampton resident, Dava Sobel on Saturday, December 10th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Senior Thesis Center at the Ross School in East Hampton.
Sobel’s book, The Glass Universe, tells the story of the women who worked at the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. Edward Pickering, the Observatory’s Director, hired the women because he believed they were careful workers and would accept lower pay than men.
The women soon became known as the women of “Pickering’s Harem” or the “Harvard Computers” as they helped discover the substances of the stars and the distances to them.
The women analyzed the stars in the daylight on the 500,000 glass photographic plates thanks to the development of photography in astronomy. The women won international acclaim for their many significant discoveries.
Sobel will discuss this fascinating story of women who expanded the world’s knowledge of the universe.
“Many of Dava’s books have dealt with the field of astronomy, focusing on individuals who have made significant contributions or pivotal discoveries,” remarked Donna L. McCormick, Executive Director of Montauk Observatory. “In her current book, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, this best-selling author calls attention to the major role a group of little-known women played in advancing the science that studies the cosmos. As always, Dava brings tremendous insight to an often complex subject and does so in a way that can be easily understood, as well as enjoyed, by all.”
Sobel is not only an East Hampton resident, but she is also a highly acclaimed, award-winning author. She formerly served as a science reporter for the New York Times and is the author of five books, including best-sellers Longitude and The Planets. In 2000, Sobel was the Pulitzer finalist for her book, Galileo’s Daughter, which later served as the basis for an Emmy Award winning PBS documentary.
“Montauk Observatory is honored to be a stop on Dava’s book tour,” added McCormick. “She is not only a valued East End treasure, but an admired and respected Montauk Observatory asset: she serves as a member of our Advisory Board and has been a great source of encouragement, advice and support since the organization’s inception.”
As a “thank-you” gift, those who attend the lecture and make a contribution to the Montauk Observatory of $100 or more by cash or check, will receive an autographed copy of Sole’s book.
Admission to the lecture is free.
The Ross School is located at 9 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.montaukobservatory.com.