Ms. Sobel is sponsored by the University of Arizona College of Science
Dava Sobel is the bestselling author of, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos, and most recently, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. A former staff science reporter for The New York Times, she has also written for numerous magazines, including Discover, Harvard Magazine, Smithsonian, and The New Yorker.
Her most unforgettable assignment at the Times required her to live 25 days as a research subject in the chronophysiology lab at Montefiore Hospital, where the boarded-up windows and specially trained technicians kept her from knowing whether it was day outside or night.
Her work has won recognition from the National Science Board, which gave her its 2001 Individual Public Service Award "for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public." She also received the 2004 Harrison Medal from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in England and the 2008 Klumpke-Roberts Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for "increasing the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy."
A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she has taught several seminars in science writing at the university level, and held a two-year residency at Smith College in fall 2013.
*Starred Review* Sobel continues her streak of luminous science writing with this fascinating, witty, and most elegant history of the women who worked in critical positions at the Harvard Observatory. Diving deep into the field of astronomy, Sobel shares the stories of the educated, talented, and determined women who sought careers studying the stars in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. With her trademark research of countless diaries, letters, and more, Sobel has gleaned intriguing personal aspects of her subjects' lives, weaving them into the narrative alongside detailed passages describing the work they did studying glass photographic plates of the stars and cataloging thousands of discoveries. Readers with only the most cursory of interest in the night sky will find themselves beguiled by Sobel's prose and invigorated by this long-overlooked history of those whose resolute ambition paved the way for women scientists who followed. With the inclusion of the equally impressive female benefactors who made much of the observatory's work possible, The Glass Universe is a feast for those eager to absorb forgotten stories of resolute American women who expanded human knowledge. Learn these names and celebrate their greatness: Draper, Bruce, Fleming, Maury, Leavitt, Payne, Cannon. And Sobel, who soars higher than ever before.