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Dava Sobel


Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel, an award-winning writer and former New York Times science reporter, has contributed articles to AudubonDiscoverLife and The New Yorker. She has also been a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine, writing about scientific research and the history of science.

Ms. Sobel has maintained an interest in Galileo since her youth and Galileos Daughter fulfills her ambition to plumb the renaissance scientists life and times, and her recent desire to learn more about Galileo's relationship with his daughter, Suor Maria Celeste, a Poor Clare nun. In researching this book, she traveled to Italy four times and translated original documents, including 124 letters from Maria Celeste to her famed father.

Ms. Sobel is the recipient of a 2000 Christopher Award for Galileo's Daughter, and her best-selling book Longitude won several awards, including the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Book of the Year in England. Also in recognition of Longitude, Ms. Sobel was made a fellow of the American Geographical Society. The PBS program NOVA produced "Lost At Sea The Search for Longitude" a television documentary adaptation of Longitude, and NOVA is currently developing a television documentary of Galileo's Daughter. A film dramatization of Longitude, which stars Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon, will be released in the United States in summer 2000.

Lecture engagements have taken Ms. Sobel to speak at The Smithsonian Institution, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The Los Angeles Public Library, and The New York Public Library. She has been a guest on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air", as well as C-SPANs "Booknotes."

Dava Sobel lives in East Hampton, New York.

Dava Sobel

Books by Dava Sobel

by Dava Sobel - History, Nonfiction, Science, Women’s Issues

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers.” As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed in this period enabled the ladies to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. The book opens in 1882, at a New York dinner party for forty members of the National Academy of Sciences hosted by Mrs. Anna Draper, who made great contributions to the study of astrophotography, and ends with Dr. Cecelia Helena Payne who became the first ever woman Professor of Astronomy at Harvard---and the first female professor at Harvard, period---in 1956.