Additional Information about Dana Sobel's talk(s)
This information provided by Gary Patrick on August 30, 2019
I became quite captivated by the "Constructing the Glass Universe" talk by what Ms. Sobel said about her experiences writing her book; hence all the time markers to guide others. Best regards, Gary On August 28th, the Lexington Computer & Technology Group met to view the talk given by Ms. Dava Sobel to Google employees in Seattle, Washington, about the subject of her book The Glass Universe, https://youtu.be/P55QGltNvDs. It runs about 48 minutes. It is about the group of women employees at the Harvard Observatory from the 19th into the 20th century who analysed telescope photographs of the stars, and performed calculations, star classification, and cataloging of the data. A friend in town, Dan Schwartz, who is a research scientist at the Harvard Observatory (now named the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), alerted me to another talk Ms. Sobel gave, there, in 2017: "Constructing The Glass Universe," that is more about the process of writing The Glass Universe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXt7Mj4vANg. It runs about 1 hour 7 minutes, including a Q&A section at the end. I listened through this and noted parts of it that are different from her talk at Google. Here are some of those instances of different insights (with time-points to jump to, minutes:seconds) 9:00 thoughts about how to write a book "about a roomful of people" (referring to a photograph in the archives of all the staff, gathered together for that purpose). 10:00 about writing a proposal for a publisher. 15:00 Henry and Anna Draper's philanthropy, and Henry's development of photographic technique. 20:00 the Drapers' Science Park at Hastings on Hudson, New York; and Henry's letters. 22:00 about Antonia Maury, Henry Draper's niece, also an astronomer, and her classification system. 26:00 talking about doing reseach in a number of library archives. 36:00 Edward Pickering's and Anna Draper's letters they saved, and politeness in the 19th century. 38:20 Ms. Sobel made an index of words she used (mostly of adjectives) so as not to overuse any in her writing. 47:00 Kate St.John's song about Henrietta Leavitt, "Angel of Harvard." (playing an MP3 recording). 50:00 beginning of Q&A section. more about the personal letters. 57:00 was employment of women unusual? Inequality of pay scale was brought up, but Professor Pickering did not budge. At our Wednesday meeting there was interest in identifying more completely the theatrical plays Ms. Sobel mentions as predecessors to her writing the book. By Google searches I found: a) The Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson, about Henrietta Levitt. (performed by Merrimack Theatre, Lowell, and Central Square Theater, Cambridge, in 2017?) b) The Women who Mapped the Stars, by Joyce Van Dyke, (performed by the Nora Theatre Company in 2018). reviews by theater critics are available. c) Insignificance, by Terry Johnson, a comedy, about Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Senator Joe McCarthy set in 1954, written in 1982. The most recent performance of it seems to be by the Nora Theatre Company, at Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, in 2014. So clearly this is not about the Women of Harvard, but Ms. Sobel may mean it influenced her thinking about the issue of adequate recognition of achievement. - by Gary Patrick, 8/29/19.
20190828_addl_info.txt · Last modified: 2021.12.22 10:51 by 127.0.0.1