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History of Astronomy – A History of Women in Astronomy, by Mary McIntyre – ONLINE

November 23, 2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

History of Women in AstronomyHistorically, astronomy has been very male-dominated. Throughout history there have been a number of trail-blazing women, such as Caroline Herschel, who worked to change that. Caroline is often referred to as the first female astronomer, but this this isn’t correct. She was the first female ever to be paid for working in science and that paved the way for many other women to follow suit. However, there were countless less well-known women who were working as astronomers long before Caroline – in fact they can be traced right back to Sumerian culture – they just did it unpaid!

This talk is a celebration of the women who worked in astronomy during different periods of history, and the challenges they faced. For example, how they gained knowledge when women were not allowed to study at university, and in fact were even forbidden from using libraries. Importantly it looks at how women’s roles within society changed during different periods in history and in the present day. It also covers the challenges still faced by women working in astronomy today and ways we can try to help fix the gender inequality that still strongly exists in physics and astronomy.

Mary is an amateur astronomer and astronomy communicator based in Oxfordshire. Born and raised in Lancashire, Mary had her head in astronomy books before she could even read and got her first telescope when she was just 11 years old. That passion was reignited when she had the chance to study for the Astronomy GCSE exam in 2011, and she then went on to study the Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science at the Open University.  Mary is a keen astrophotographer and a move to the dark skies of rural Oxfordshire with her astronomer husband has helped to fuel this passion.

She has had her images appear in astronomy magazines, books, local newspapers and on various tv shows. She also loves astronomy sketching and art because it makes her feel better “connected” with the object she is drawing. She has written many articles for Sky at Night magazine and several for the Yearbook of Astronomy. She is a member of the British Astronomical Association, the Society for Popular Astronomy and Society for the History of Astronomy. She is co-host on the Astronomy FM radio show “Comet Watch” and a member of the AstroRadio team.

Mary is passionate about outreach and loves giving talks, running astrophotography and astronomy sketching workshops. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2018. Mary and Mark are part of the UK Meteor Network and currently have five meteor cameras installed.  When she isn’t doing astronomy, she enjoys other types of painting and photography and also plays bass guitar.