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Author Dava Sobel Speaks About Her Latest Book


Science writer, Dava Sobel (who may be the only Miller visitor ever to have had an asteroid named after her) spoke to a packed auditorium about her latest book, The Glass Universe.  Ms. Sobel’s lecture was the culminating event in our Taste of Astronomy Series, which included a visit to UVA’s historic McCormick Observatory and a lesson in solar astronomy with the Charlottesville Astronomical Society.

Dava Sobel is a world-renowned science writer. Her book Longitude went through twenty-nine hardcover printing and has been translated into two dozen foreign languages. Galileo’s Daughter, based on on 124 surviving letters to Galileo from his eldest child was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in biography. She has lectured at The Smithsonian, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The New York Public Library, The Royal Geographical Society in London, and now MSA!

Ms. Sobel’s stories of the pioneering female “computers”(so-called because they made computations, or, did math) of the Harvard Observatory begin at around the same time the Miller School was founded, in the second half of the nineteenth century. Harvard Observatory was a uniquely progressive environment for women at that time, just as the Miller School was for girls. (The Miller School catalogue of 1885 boasts that academic and industrial training at Miller “was as thoroughly provided for the girls as the boys” and both genders took not only Latin, philosophy, math and science, but also farming, printing and mechanical engineering.) The stories Ms. Sobel presented of these trailblazing women in science were well suited to Miller, which now boasts the first ever high school branch of the Society of Women Engineers. ~ Sarah Goodbar

View more photos of the event here.








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