Tag Archives: astronomy

Nostalgia for the truth

A new documentary ‘Nostalgia for the light’ has just been released. It’s a Chilean documentary about the development of astronomical observatories in that country throughout the 70s and 80s, at the same time as the Pinochet regime was persecuting thousands of people and incarcerating them in concentration camps. Some of these camps were in the […]

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More (un)certainty, or do I mean something else?

Following on from my last blog, the event on poetry and astronomy at Royal Observatory in Greenwich went very well. Jocelyn Bell Burnell gave a great talk and invited members of the audience to read aloud the poems on astronomy she had selected. These readings were fantastic; and I think helped the discussion with the […]

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Dark matter – clear poetry

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is holding a public event on 10 November to discuss poems about astronomy. The astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the poet Kelley Swaine, and I will be speaking at it. There is a lot of poetry written about astronomy, and I find this surprising for a couple of reasons. First, because […]

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The pro-am tournament

Science (of all descriptions) is usually done by scientists in universities or industries, and they get paid to do it. Science became a predominantly paid profession towards the end of the nineteenth century, with the growth of lectureships and PhD studies at universities. Until then, amateurs had played a key role. Victorian science is full […]

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