The Silent Sky Lecture Series
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Click here for Silent Sky the play
In conjunction with our production of Silent Sky, we present this series of distinguished speakers from the worlds of science and academia! Each lecturer will share fascinating insights into Henrietta Leavitt's pioneering work, the history of women in science, and the infinite wonders of the stars.
Dr. John Mulchaey
Saturday, September 17 at 5 pm
The Game-Changer: How Henrietta Leavitt Made Modern Astronomy Possible
Dr. John Mulchaey is Director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, a world-famous center for reserach on the evolution of the universe. He was a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow before joining the scientific staff in 1999, and was named Director in 2015. Today he leads the Pasadena campus as well as the Carnegie's large-telescopes site in Northern Chile. In addition, Dr. Mulchaey is Science Deputy of the Observatories' parent organization, the Carnegie Institution for Science, where he oversees the Institution's 5 departments in the physical sciences and life sciences. Dr. Mulchaey's research focuses on many key areas of astronomy, including dark matter and black holes; he is also a consultant to NASA and the National Science Foundation. In addition, he has created educational programs that reach audiences throughout Southern California and beyond. These include the highly popular Carnegie Astronomy Lecture Series each spring, and special programs for gifted high school and undergraduate science students, among many others. Dr. Mulchaey has also made Carnegie Observatories the world's leading destination for top young postdoctoral fellows launching their careers in astronomy. In 2020 he received the RHSTAR Humanitarian Award for his service to scientific education.
Dr. Eun-Joo Ahn
Saturday, September 24 at 5 pm
Women Astronomers at Mount Wilson Observatory: The Early Years
Eun-Joo Ahn is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is a historian of science researching how astronomers in Southern California interacted with their natural and socio-economic environment during the early twentieth century. She pays particular attention to the relationship between the founding and development of Mount Wilson Observatory and the regional development and boosterism of Southern California. Previously, she received her PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago, and worked on particle astrophysics as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Sunday, October 2 at 5 pm
Women in the Background: Astronomy History's Deep Field
Kit Whitten manages both the research library and vast plate archive at Carnegie Observatories. She is also responsible for responding to outside research requests and participates in several of the Observatories' outreach events. She is focused on making the Observatories' holdings more discoverable and her current archival concentration is documenting the efforts of the female Research Assistants ("computers") behind the scenes of the Observatories' early scientific discoveries.
Saturday, October 8 at 5 pm
Exploring Space in Cyberspace
S. George Djorgovski is a Professor of Astronomy and Data Science, and the Director of the Center for Data-Driven Discovery at Caltech. He worked on a broad range of topics, including studies of the very distant galaxies and quasars, fundamental properties of nearby galaxies, globular star clusters, gravitational lenses, cosmic gamma-ray bursts, etc. and he is the author or a coauthor of over 600 scientific publications. He led three large digital sky surveys, and he is one of the founders of the global Virtual Observatory framework, and of the vibrant new field of Astroinformatics.