Category Archives: Meetings

National Maritime Museum

Feast of Astro-History at Greenwich

Stellar line-up for joint SHA–BAA Spring Conference 28 March

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

The 2015 Spring Conference of the Society for the History of Astronomy will take the form of a joint event with the History Section of the British Astronomical Association.

It will be on Saturday 28 March 2015 at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and promises to be a memorable event.

Giving the Alan Cox/David Dewhirst Memorial Lecture will be William Sheehan, renowned US author of many books on the history of astronomy—including the recently published Galactic Encounters—who will speak on the history of Mars exploration. Sheehan has also edited and brought to press Patrick Moore’s translation of Camille Flammarion’s 1892 classic, The Planet Mars and is currently working on an update of his own authoritative 1996 work on Mars.

Stuart Clark, widely read astronomy journalist and author of the highly successful Sky’s Dark Labyrinth Trilogy, will be talking about the subject of his acclaimed biography The Sun Kings— Richard Carrington and the 1859 Solar Flare.

The US astrophysicist and historian of astronomy, Prof. Jay Pasachoff, fresh back from observing the March 2015 solar eclipse, will take us back to sixteenth century astronomy as he speaks about the seminal discoveries of Galileo Galilei and Simon Marius, in relation to the Moon and Jupiter’s satellites. Jay is the Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, Massachusetts, and is responsible for a number of general astronomy textbooks, which have become popular on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anthony Kinder, former Director of the BAA Historical Section, will outline the major study that he has been undertaking into the historical membership of the BAA and the SHA.

Bob Marriott, Director of the BAA Instrument & Imaging Section, will tell the fascinating story of the father-and-son astronomers, William Dawes and the Rev. William Rutter Dawes.

There will also be a presentation on behalf of Roger Jones, Co-ordinator of the SHA’s Survey of Astronomical History, which will describe the unique record of British and Irish astronomy across the centuries that is contained in the rapidly expanding SHA on-line survey.  Roger is, sadly, now expected to be unable to attend for health reasons.

For full details please see our Meetings page.


From the SHA e-News
The first ever SHA meeting at Greenwich, 2003

Forthcoming SHA Meetings

The first ever SHA meeting at Greenwich, 2003

The first ever SHA meeting at Greenwich, 2003

The Society for the History of Astronomy offers a range of great value meetings throughout the year, some of which are also open to non-members.

2014 SHA AGM & Autumn Conference

Remaining in 2014 is the Annual General Meeting and Autumn Conference

This event will held at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute on 25 October 2014.

Talks will include:-

  • Doug Bateman on The Greenwich Time Ball 
  • Lee Macdonald on the History of the Kew Observatory 
  • Prof. Bill Leatherbarrow on The Amateur’s Moon: British Selenography and the BAA Lunar Section 
  • Dr Allan Chapman on Copernicus, Galileo, the Telescope & the Church 1500-1700 (the subject of Allan’s latest book – due out Oct. 2014)

Registration begins at 9.30 for a start at 10.00. The Conference finishes at 17.00.

Book in advance if possible: £5 for members, £10 for non-members. Friends and family members welcome (Pre-register via

For more details, see our Meetings page.

2015 Meetings in Outline

Outline details are now available of some of our meetings in the new year.  Flyers etc will be appended to our Meetings page as they become available.

Joint Event:

SHA/British Astronomical Association Historical Section 2015 Conference

This joint meeting will be on Saturday 28 March 2015 at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and will feature presentations by the following speakers:

  • William Sheehan on Mars: from the canals to Curiosity 
  • Stuart Clark on Richard Carrington (and the Solar Flare of 1859) 
  • Anthony Kinder on the BAA/SHA historical membership project 
  • Bob Marriott on William Rutter Dawes 
  • Roger Jones on The SHA Survey 

For more information on the BAA Historical Section:

2015 SHA Summer Picnic

Next year’s summer picnic will be on Saturday 4th July 2015 at Woolsthorpe Manor (Sir Isaac Newton’s house) and will include a tour of the house and a visit to Colsterthorpe Church.  Details to be announced.

2014 SHA AGM & Autumn Conference

The Annual General Meeting & Autumn Conference for next year will be held at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute on 31 October 2015.

Members are encouraged to give presentations, or exhibit posters relating to their research, at this and future SHA events and anyone wishing to do so should should contact Kevin Kilburn ( in the first instance.

Information from the SHA eNews Oct. 2014

SHA Meetings News


The latest details available of the Society for the History of Astronomy meetings programmes for 2014 and also the separate 2014 SHA Council meetings programme are now available, with flyer downloads where applicable, from the Meetings page of the SHA website.

If there are any changes to these details in future, they will always appear here.

Please note that, while non-members are welcome to attend SHA meetings, meeting attendance fees will always be on the most advantageous terms to Members – an incentive to join, if you have not already done so, to reap the benefits of membership as well as to support the aims and work of the SHA.

We look forward to seeing you at any or all of our meetings next year!


SHA Council Meetings in 2014

Currently the following Council meetings are scheduled for 2014, though the dates and venues are subject to change:

  • Sat. 8 February, Godlee Observatory, Manchester.
  • Sat. 7 June, BMI, Birmingham.
  • Sat. 13 September, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.
  • Sat. 22 November, Godlee Observatory, Manchester.

Provisionally these meetings will start at 1:30 pm. Council meetings are not open due to lack of space, but any member may attend by prior arrangement with the General Secretary.

Similarly, if you have any issue that you would like to raise with Council then please contact the General Secretary (see the Council page for contact details).