Tangible Things of American Astronomy, or What Does a Computer Have in Common with a Teapot?


Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 6:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street

Image for the Tangible Things of American Astronomy lecture with Sara Schechner

Free Public Lecture

Sara J. Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator, 
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University

As a science that studies distant celestial objects, astronomy deals with few things that can be touched directly. And yet, astronomy has many tangible things—scientific instruments and observatories, for example—that link the past to the present. There is little question about maintaining things still valuable for scientific research purposes, but why should we care about documenting and preserving the old and obsolete? Sara Schechner, recipient of the 2018 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy, will discuss what can be learned from a sundial, a tea set, some telescopes and clocks, a life mask, a rotating desk, photographs, and even fly spankers.

Free event parking at 52 Oxford Street Garage.


This event will be livestreamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Facebook page.  

A recording of this program will be available on our YouTube channel approximately three weeks after the lecture.