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 Harlow Shapley

Harlow Shapley

Nashville, Barton County, Missouri, USA
Death 20 Oct 1972 (aged 86)
Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Burial Sharon, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Memorial ID 8397964 · View Source
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"My simple, prehaps too simple, diagnosis of our pandemic ailment is that we have been and still are bedeviled by a natural and presisting anthropocentrism. Temporary correctives are provided by science, but we suffer relapses and return to beliving that we are somehow important and supremely powerful and comprehending in the universe. Of course we are not. We have learned that fact slowly and accepted it but partially." Harlow Shapley,"On the Evidences of Inorganic Evolution," in Sol Tax, editor, EVOLUTION AFTER DARWIN: THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CENNTENTIAL, Volume I, The Evolution of Life: Its Origin, History and Future (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960).

Preeminent astonomer,cosmologist, and humanitarian, who was also director of the Harvard College Observatory. Shapley was noted for his work on globular cluster distribution and at the Mount Wilson Observatory. BA, 1910; MA, 1911 (Thesis: Antalgol Variable ST Ophiuchi (52.1907)); University of Missouri; PhD, Princeton University, studying under a Thaw Fellowship, 1914 (Thesis: Study of the Orbits of Eclipsing Binaries). Elected a Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1920. Participant in the Shapley-Curtis (Heber D. Curtis, 1872-1942) Debate in 1920 regarding the scale of the universe. Determined the location of the Sun within the Milky Way Galaxy. Awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1934; Bruce Medal, 1939. President, American Astonomical Society from 1943 to 1946. President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1947. In the 1940's, Shapley initiated a cooperative effort between the Harvard College Observatory and the University of Colorado at Boulder leading to the development and operation of the High Altitude Observatory at Climax, Colorado, the focus of which was on a solar Lyot coronagraph used to create artificial eclipses allowing for the investigation of fundamental solar processes. Aided in the formation of UNESCO. Received a honorary Doctor of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago (1969). The Shapley Crater on Earth's Moon, the Asteroid 1123 Shapleya, and, the Shapley Supercluster are all named in his honor.
Father of Lloyd Stowell Shapley (1923-)-elected a Fellow (1974), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and former mathematician and economist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the RAND Graduate School, and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles who was the joint winner with Alvin E. Roth of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."
Harlow Shapley published extensively in scientific journals, and his books included: Notes on the Periods of Time Eclipsing Variables (1913); Study of the Orbits of Eclipsing Binaries (1915); Raymond S. Dugan Papers (1921); Starlight (1926); Radio Talks From the Harvard Observatory (1926); Sourcebook in Astronomy (1929); Flights From Chaos: A Survey of Material Systems From Atoms to Galaxies, Adapted From Lectures at the College of the City of New York (1930); Star Clusters (1930); Manual of Celestial Photography: Principles and Practices for Those Interested in Photographing the Heavans (1931); Time and its Mysteries (1936); Transneptunian Planet (1937); Galactic and Extragalactic Studies (1940); Internal Constitution of the Stars (1941); Climatic Change: Evidence, Causes, and Effects (1953); Treasury of Science (1943, 1954); Inner Metagalaxy (1957); Henry Norris Russell 1877-1957, a Biographical Memoir (1958) Of Stars and Men: The Human Response to an Expanding Universe (1958, 1964); ; Source Book in Astronomy 1900-1950 (1960); Science Ponders Religion (1960); Widsom: Selections From the NBC Television Network's Distinguished Series Wisdom (1961); View From a Distant Star: Man's Future in the Universe (1963); Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies: Being the Harvard Survey of Galaxies Brighter Than the 13th Magnitude (co-author, 1964); Galaxies (1943, 1961, 1967, 1971); Beyond the Observatory (1967); and, Through Rugged Ways to the Stars (1969). Married Martha Betz, April 15, 1914.
Thanks to contributor A Helper for the grave stone photographs.

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Cosmologist * Humanitarian
And we by his triumph are lifted level with the skies

Gravesite Details Solid granite stone marker is from the Shapley farm.
  • Created by: GravesScribe
  • Added: 18 Feb 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8397964
  • Linda C. Driscoll
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Harlow Shapley (2 Nov 1885–20 Oct 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8397964, citing North Cemetery, Sharon, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by GravesScribe (contributor 46481285) .