The history of
of the Subject
Falls in Wales
PEOPLE IN ASTRONOMY
THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY IN WALES
Many interesting characters have been prominent in Astronomy in Wales. They have included some academics, but also a great many people from a range of professions who have had an enthusiasm for the subject and a desire to contribute to it. Work of international importance was carried out by a few of these figures. However, the emphasis of astronomical work in Wales up to the middle of the 20th century tended to be on amateur study. This was probably because of the absence of university-level scientific research in the country until the later part of the 19th century and the relatively slow growth of astronomy in the University of Wales in the period up to the middle of the 20th century.
Other people who were born in Wales, or lived there for a time, have contributed to astronomy outside the country. We include these in our survey.
Silas Evans presented short biographies of many of these people in his book Seryddiaeth a Seryddwyr (published by William Lewis Ltd., Cardiff, in 1923): this is an excellent starting point for information about people in the period leading up to the 1920s. It also presents pictures of some of these characters. Short biographies of individual people can also be found in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, which can be found in many public libraries in Wales. T. Iorwerth Jones published an account of Welsh scientists in the Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1932-1933 volume, pages 40-232. His article, The Contributions of Welshmen to Science, includes some Welsh astronomers, and gives publications lists. A summary of the people included is available online.
The list of Welsh astronomers given by Silas Evans in the chapter about Astronomy in Wales in Seryddiaeth a Seryddwyr is available on these pages.
These pages only cover people who are dead: we have no wish to embarrass the living by assessing their work in public, or to extend beyond the normal limits of historical scholarship. In fact, there are probably more people from Wales active in astronomical research today than at any other period in hisory, working in universities in Wales, across Britain, or across the world. Our survey of the work of their predecessors will allow today's researchers to be put into context and to illustrate the importance of their accomplishments.
Some Welsh astronomers
Some of the most notable astronomers associated with Wales are:
A few notable astronomers lived in Wales for a short periods, but there is little evidence of astronomical activity when in the country: the distinguished amateur Admiral W. H. Smyth (1788-1865) lived for a time in Cardiff. Arthur Norton (1876-1955), who produced the world-famous Norton's Star Atlas, was born in Cardiff and spent his first few months in Wales.
Biographical information available here
Pages are available here about the following people:
Some membership lists of the Astronomical Society of Wales are available. These give the names of some amateur astronomers from the period 1894-1910.
This page was created and is maintained by Bryn Jones. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
WWW home page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/ .
This page was first created in January 2000 (at a different address).
It was last modified on 23rd July, 2011.
URL of this page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/wastronhist/people.html .
This page replaced in August 2008 the old page http://brynjones.members.beeb.net/wastronhist/peoplehist.html . An archived copy of the old page is available here.