|This biography needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
April 28, 1906|
|Died||August 5, 1983
He was born in the Netherlands to Jan Bok and Gesina Annetta (née van der Lee) Bok, but spent a good deal of his childhood days growing up in what was then known as the Dutch East Indies. He was educated at the Leiden and Groningen Universities. In 1929 he married fellow astronomer Dr. Priscilla Fairfield Bok, and for the remainder of their lives the two collaborated closely on their astronomical work. They had two children, Joyce and John.
From 1929 until 1957 he worked at Harvard University. He then worked as director of Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia for nine years, before returning to the United States as director of Steward Observatory. He became a US citizen in 1938.
In 1975 Bok coauthored the statement Objections to Astrology (The Humanist, 1975), which was endorsed by 186 professional astronomers, astrophysicists, and other scientists, including nineteen winners of the Nobel Prize. The statement was published in The Humanist. This led to the formation of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, of which he was a founding Fellow.
Bart Bok was an exceedingly popular personality in the field of astronomy, noted for his affability and humor. The Asteroid 1983 Bok was named for him while he was still living. In the ceremony announcing the award, he thanked the IAU for giving him "a little plot of land that [I] can retire to and live on." He participated in or led several groups to view solar eclipses, including a trip to the eclipse near Bratsk in Siberia in July 1981. On this trip to the USSR he led the group on a side trip to Byurakan Observatory, meeting with the director, Victor Ambartsumian.
His last eclipse trip was to return to what he called his "spiritual home" of Java to view a totality that passed near the town of Salatiga in June 1983. The night before the eclipse he spoke of his deep and abiding affection for the Indonesian people and said "If you wish to know Indonesia, eat Indonesian food and listen to gamelan music." He also spoke of how much he had enjoyed sharing his love of astronomy with others over the years.
Bok died of a heart attack at his home in Tucson, Arizona a little more than a month after that final trip. His only regret was that he did not have great-grandchildren at the time of his death.
Named after him
- Lunar crater Bok (with his wife)
- Asteroid 1983 Bok (with his wife)
- Bok globules
- Bok Telescope
- Bart J Bok Postdoctoral Fellowship, given out by the Astronomy Department of the University of Arizona and Steward Observatory.
- Bok, Bart J.; Lindsay, Eric M. (January 1938). "Note on the Stellar Distribution in the Vicinity of a Southern Galactic Window". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 24 (1): 4–9. Bibcode:1938PNAS...24....4B. doi:10.1073/pnas.24.1.4. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 1077014. PMID 16588185.
- Bok, BJ; Morgan, HR; Stokley, J (June 1941). "The Distribution of American Astronomical Literature Abroad". Science 93 (2424): 568–569. Bibcode:1941Sci....93..568B. doi:10.1126/science.93.2424.568. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17809700.
- Bok, BJ (September 1944). "Freedom in Science". Science 100 (2593): 217–218. doi:10.1126/science.100.2593.217-a. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17840405.
- Bok, BJ (February 1949). "Science and the Maintenance of Peace". Science 109 (2824): 131–137. Bibcode:1949Sci...109..131B. doi:10.1126/science.109.2824.131. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17759166.
- Bok, BJ (January 1953). "The United Nations Expanded Program for Technical Assistance". Science 117 (3030): 67–70. Bibcode:1953Sci...117...67B. doi:10.1126/science.117.3030.67. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17836270.
- Bok, BJ (June 1955). "Science in International Cooperation". Science 121 (3155): 843–847. Bibcode:1955Sci...121..843B. doi:10.1126/science.121.3155.843. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17798483.
- Bok, BJ (November 1966). "Graduate Training in Astronomy". Science 154 (3749): 590–592. doi:10.1126/science.154.3749.590-a. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17778795.
- Bok, BJ (January 1973). "Galactic spiral structure". American scientist 61 (1): 8. ISSN 0003-0996. PMID 17712971.
- Bok, Bart Jan; Bok, Priscilla Fairfield (1981). The Milky Way (5th ed.). Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-57503-2.
- Levy, David H. (1993). The Man Who Sold the Milky Way: A Biography of Bart Bok. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-1149-7.
- Graham, J. A.; Wade, C. M.; Price, R. M. (1994). "Bart J. Bok". Biographical Memoirs V.64. pp. 72–97. ISBN 978-0-309-06978-6.
- Millman, P. M. (February 1984). "Obituary - BOK, Bart-Jan 1906-1983". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 78 (1): 3–7. Bibcode:1984JRASC..78....3M.
- Levy, D. H. (February 1984). "Obituary - BOK - Thoughts". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 78 (1): 8–9. Bibcode:1984JRASC..78....8L.
- Whiteoak, J. B. (1984). "Student Memories of Bart Bok - an Astronomical Godfather". Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia 5 (4): 608–610. Bibcode:1984PASAu...5..608W.
- Lada, C. J. (December 1987). "Obituary - BOK, Bart". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 28 (4): 539–551. Bibcode:1987QJRAS..28..539L.