Science and Society | Vera Rubin: The Life of a Remarkable Astronomer


Join us for a conversation with Jacqueline Mitton, co-author of Vera Rubin: A Life, for a general overview of Rubin’s life story and her achievements.

Vera Rubin, who died in 2016, was one of the most influential astronomers of her generation. Her groundbreaking work on how galaxies rotate was instrumental in convincing other astronomers and the public that dark matter exists in abundance in the universe. Not only that, she helped transform the career prospects of women scientists by campaigning vigorously for women to be treated and recognized in the same way as their male colleagues. In the course of the research for their biography of her, Jacqueline and Simon Mitton were the first people to have access to Rubin’s papers and correspondence, now preserved in the US Library of Congress. This gave them unique and in-depth insight into her character and her fascinating life as she dealt with discrimination and combined family life with an outstanding career.

Jacqueline Mitton read physics at Somerville College, Oxford, then took a PhD in astronomy at Cambridge. Most of her professional career in astronomy has been dedicated to sharing her enthusiasm for the subject with a variety of audiences in numerous different ways, particularly writing, editorial and consultancy work, and media relations. She was the first ever Press Officer appointed by the Royal Astronomical Society and has served as Editor of both the Journal and Handbook of the British Astronomical Association. She is the author or co-author of over 30 books. Jacqueline and her husband Simon have two grown-up daughters and live in Cambridge, UK.

The conversation will be moderated by Colin Norman, the former News Editor at Science, and Fred Dylla, Executive Director Emeritus of the American Institute of Physics and author of Scientific Journeys. This event is part of the series Science and Society - Making Sense of the World Around Us, launched by the Lewes Public Library last year and co-organized by Fred Dylla and Linda Dylla.

We invite you to support the author by purchasing a copy of their book from Browseabout Books by clicking HERE. Call-in orders are accepted at (302) 226-2665 or you can stop by the store to purchase a copy. For store hours, please visit their website. Each copy purchased comes with a signed bookplate.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email us.

Basic written instructions for using Zoom may be found here and a brief video tutorial may be found here. Closed captioning is available for all our sessions. Information on enabling closed captioning in Zoom may be found here.

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
133 Rehoboth Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971