Oral history interview with Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin, 1968 March 5.

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Oral history interview with Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin, 1968 March 5.

Student years at University of Cambridge, 1919-1923; move to Harvard University in 1923, and subsequent career. Comments on being a woman studying physics at Cambridge in the 1920s; influences of Ernest Rutherford, Arthur Eddington and Edward Milne on her career choice; some of her early research. Move to Harvard (inspired by lecture by Harlow Shapley). At Harvard, work (virtually alone) on stellar spectra; encouragement of Shapley and Annie J. Cannon. Publications on stellar atmospheres and variable stars; anecdotes about including E.C. Pickering, Henry N. Russell, Raymond S. Dugan and Alfred H. Joy. Discussion of youthful visit to William Bateson's experimental garden, comments on Bateson's family and other scientists (including George Phillips), nature of the British scientific community. Mentions some of her ancestors and careers of siblings. Also prominently mentioned are: Ralph Howard Fowler, and Donald Howard Menzel.

Transcript, 23 pp.

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Celilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin (1900-1979) taught astronomy at Harvard. She earned her AB at Newnham College, Cambridge University in 1923 and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College in 1925. She began working at the Harvard Observatory in 1923. She was the Phillips Astronomer at the Harvard Observatory in 1938, Professor of Astronomy, 1956-1966, Chair of the Astronomy Department, 1956-1960 (the first female department Chair at Harvard) and Phillips Professor of Astronomy, Emerita, from 1967; at the tim...

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University of Cambridge.

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