File(s) under permanent embargo
Representations of Astronomers in Literature
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 12:41 authored by Roslynn HaynesRoslynn Haynes
The depiction of astronomers as characters in fiction during the last four centuries provides a useful historical indication of the changing popular perception of astronomy and its practitioners. It is apparent that lay attitudes to astronomy, even in any given period, are complex. On the one hand there is the continuing, innate attraction which the spectacle of the night sky has for people of all ages, the sense of wonder it generates and the perception of astronomy as a “pure” science, free from military and environmentally damaging spin-offs. But, on the other hand, astronomy poses particular and radical challenges to the humanist tradition and these have elicited from many writers not only expressions of anguish and confusion but, at times, a personal attack on the astronomers who were considered responsible for the unwelcome views.
Publication titleThe Astronomy Quarterly
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statementCopyright 1991 Pergamon Press plc