Society for the History of Astronomy

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Society for the History of Astronomy
AbbreviationSHA
Formation2002 (16 years ago)
Legal statusSociety
PurposeTo promote and encourage the study of the history of astronomy.
Location
Official language
English
Chairman
Bob Bower
Main organ
Antiquarian Astronomer
AffiliationsRoyal Astronomical Society Birmingham and Midland Institute.
WebsiteSociety for the History of Astronomy

The Society for the History of Astronomy is an organisation based in the United Kingdom that promotes research into the history of astronomy. It publishes a research journal called The Antiquarian Astronomer and a regular Bulletin.[1]

The Society[edit]

The Society for the History of Astronomy was founded in 2002 to promote the study of the history of astronomy by hosting talks by members and publishing new research into the field. One main objective was to encourage research into past astronomers who have previously been neglected within the history of science. Some of its members are professional historians of science but most are amateur historians.[1][2]

The Honorary President is Dr Allan Chapman of Wadham College, Oxford. The honorary vice-presidents are Dr Michael Hoskin of Churchill College, Cambridge, and Sir Arnold Wolfendale, FRS. Sir Patrick Moore was an honorary vice-president until his death in 2012.

The Society hosts several one-day conferences at venues across the United Kingdom each year. A Bulletin is published twice yearly containing articles and news items about astronomical history. The Bulletin includes short reports of original research by members.[1]

The society maintains a library of publications of importance to the history of science. It is known as the Sir Robert Ball Library and is located at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in central Birmingham.[3] The archives of the Society are preserved at the Library of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.

Survey of Astronomical History[edit]

One of the Society's major activities is organising a Survey of Astronomical History in the form of lists of historical astronomers and observatories in each of the old counties of Britain and Ireland. This has been motivated by a desire to promote research into local astronomical activities that have previously been neglected.[4]

The Antiquarian Astronomer[edit]

The Society publishes annually a refereed journal called The Antiquarian Astronomer containing new research into the history of astronomy, particularly articles written by members. Published papers have discussed activities in major observatories, scientific research by individuals of particular note, scientific instrument makers, and the activities of prominent amateur astronomers.[5][6][7]

The first issue appeared in 2004, and issue 9 was published in 2015. Back issues are indexed in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), and the ADS contains scans of all articles published during the period 2004–2015.[8] Its current editor is Ian Ridpath.

Society for the History of Astronomy Bulletin[edit]

The Society publishes an bi-annual Bulletin containing news relating to the study of the history of astronomy and the organisation's activities. The Bulletin also includes short research articles and notes by members. It was previously called News (editions 1–4, 2002–2004) and Newsletter (editions 5–17, 2004–2008). Articles are indexed in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System but scans are not currently available.[9] Digital versions are available online for some editions.[10] The current editors are Carolyn Kennett and Len Adam.

Chairs[edit]

Emily Winterburn MSc 2002–2004[11]
Gilbert Satterthwaite FRAS   2004–2010[11]
Madeline Cox FRAS 2011–2015[12]
Bob Bower FRAS 2015–2018

Picnics[edit]

One feature of this society is an annual summer picnic. Past picnics have been held at:-

5 July 2003 Wadham College, Oxford

3 July 2004 Woolsthorpe Manor

6 August 2005 Wadham College, Oxford

8 July 2006 ‘Farthings’, Selsey

16 June 2007 Pendrell Hall, Staffordshire

2 August 2008 Marlborough College, Wiltshire

4 July 2009 Hanwell Community Observatory

17 July 2010 Stonyhurst College

16 July 2011 Orwell Park, Suffolk

9 June 2012 Carr House, Much Hoole

29 June 2013 Mill Hill Observatory

12 July 2014 National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

4 July 2015 Woolsthorpe Manor

2 July 2016 Hanwell Community Observatory

1 July 2017 Liverpool City Centre

30 June 2018 Seething Observatory

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About". Society for the History of Astronomy. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. ^ Orchiston, Wayne (2005), "Society for the History of Astronomy", Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Townsville: James Cook University, 8 (2): 133–134, Bibcode:2005JAHH....8..133O, ISSN 1440-2807
  3. ^ "Library". Society for the History of Astronomy. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Survey of Astronomical History". Society for the History of Astronomy. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  5. ^ "The Antiquarian Astronomer". Society for the History of Astronomy. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ Satterthwaite, Gilbert E. (2004). "Foreword". The Antiquarian Astronomer. Society for the History of Astronomy. 1: 2. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  7. ^ Potter, Callum (2004). "Preface". The Antiquarian Astronomer. Society for the History of Astronomy. 1: 2. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ "The Antiquarian Astronomer". SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Society for the History of Astronomy News". SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Society for the History of Astronomy Bulletin Issues". Society for the History of Astronomy. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  11. ^ a b Satterthwaite, Gilbert E. (2004). "Letter from the Chair". Society for the History of Astronomy Newsletter. Society for the History of Astronomy (5): 2. Bibcode:2004SHAN....5....2S. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. ^ Johnson, Kevin (2012). "SHA Council & Officers". The Antiquarian Astronomer. Society for the History of Astronomy. 6: 107. Retrieved 12 February 2017.

External links[edit]