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The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers 2007th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0387351339
ISBN-10: 0387351337
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"I pounced upon this substantial work by Hockey and his many colleagues when it arrived for review. … we find biographical notes on more than 1500 figures with some connection to astronomy and who were born before 1918 (the youngest is Gérard de Vaucouleurs.) … it’s a brave effort and one in which most astronomers today (especially the older ones!) will find plenty of interest … ." (David Stickland, The Observatory, Vol. 128, October, 2008)

"The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers is a major reference work that should find a place in every public library. It contains biographies of the work and life of some 750 astronomers, born from Antiquity up to mid-1918, who have made a significant contribution to this oldest of all the sciences. … For professional astronomers and historians, and for the many members of the general public sharing an interest in astronomy The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers will be a continuing source of information and pleasure." (Ken Pounds, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 50 (2), March-April, 2009)

“When I opened the package of the Encyclopedia I found two volumes containing information about 1500 individuals, who have either substantially contributed to the discipline of Astronomy from Antiquity to 1918 … . My inevitably biased selection left me with the enthusiastic feeling that these two volumes are, as expected, a must for libraries and scholars … . I do not suggest it as a book to leave on the table beside your bed, but as one to keep handy on your bookshelf.” (Giorgio G. C. Palumbo, Nuncius, Vol. XXV (1), 2010)

“The fact that this work is in two volumes tells you immediately that it is serious and pretty heavyweight! … The works and life of each astronomer is outlined and summarised and references are given … . If like me you are interested in those men and women who over the centuries have brought our particular science, our interest, our hobby to the point it is at today then these two well written and impeccably presented volumes will never gather dust on your book shelves.” (Dale Holt, Popular Astronomy, May-June, 2011)

From the Publisher

Written for:

Historians of science, astronomers and professional astronomers, cosmologists, interested public

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1348 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2007 edition (February 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387351337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387351339
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,937,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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This massive, two volume work provides insightful and detailed biographies of astronomers (and others whose lives peripherally touched astronomy) from antiquity to the present. Successes of the subjects are, of course, highlighted, but deficiencies and failures are mentioned, sympathetically. The biographies of E. S. Holden and Percival Lowell, in particular, are handled in refreshingly positive ways (Holden in particular seems to have been lambasted to the point where one yearns for a particle of virtue to be discovered in him). The one biography with which I would take issue is that of Harlow Shapley. His (basically losing) stance in the Great Debate is discussed evenhandedly, but his leftist politicking is defended a little too vigorously. I would refer the reader to the online interview with him conducted in 1966 by the American Institute of Physics by Helen Wright and Charles Weiner. His association with the National Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions and other organizations which intersected with Soviet front organizations can be found towards the end of the interview, as can his rather arrogant castigation of those on the HUAC who would cast suspicions about his motivation for these connections. He does not come across well.
This is nonetheless a valuable and, in fact, unchallenged complication of astronomical history.
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