Observatory Logo


Dr Mary Brück, a former lecturer in astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, will deliver a public lecture on the life and times of the celebrated nineteenth century Skibbereen-born historian and astronomer Agnes Mary Clerke. The lecture, which is supported by the East Antrim Astronomical Society and Cambridge University Press, marks the publication of Mary Brück's highly acclaimed biography of the famous historian of science. The lecture: "The Remarkable Agnes Clerke: Irish Popularizer of Astronomy and Early astrophysics", takes place in The Rotunda Theatre, St Patrick's Trian, Armagh, on Thursday, 12 September at 8:00pm.

Agnes Mary Clerke was an exceptionally accomplished scholar, fluent in several languages and a prolific correspondent. She was accepted on equal terms by many of the leading astronomers of the day, at a time when female scientific writers were almost unknown. Mary Brück's lecture will highlight the many successes of Agnes Clerke's life as well as the difficulties of operating in a predominantly male world.

Mary Brück was born in Co. Meath, and is a Physics graduate of University College Dublin. She obtained her PhD at Edinburgh in the field of solar spectroscopy, after which she was appointed as an astronomer at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin, where her main research interests focused on photographic measurements of the colours and brightness of stars.

It was while at Dunsink that she met and later married Professor Hermann Alexander Brück, Director of the Dunsink Observatory from 1947-1957. At the end of this period she moved to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, where her husband had been appointed Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Regius Professor at the University of Edinburgh.

Since retiring from formal teaching duties at the University of Edinburgh in 1987, she has taken a keen interest in the lives of early woman astronomers and in the history of Irish astronomy. Mary Brück is the author of numerous scientific papers and several astronomical biographies, is an honorary member of the Irish Astronomical Society, and the 2001 recipient of the Lorimer Medal of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh.

Admission to the lecture is free, parking available close by. Tickets are available from Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambn@star.arm.ac.uk.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John C. McConnell, East Antrim Astronomical Society, Tel.: 028-9261-9936; e-mail: johnmcconnell9929@hotmail.com or John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: jmf@star.arm.ac.uk.

See also: More Public Events

Last Revised: 2002 September 4th
WWW contact: webmaster@star.arm.ac.uk
Go to HOME Page Home Page