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Session 15 - Teaching of Astronomy.
Display session, Monday, June 10
Great Hall,

[15.05] The Shapley Program: 1969 - 1996

A. G. D. Philip (Union College and ISO)

A database (using the program RBASE) has been created for all the Shapley data now located in Schenectady. These files consist of a set of cards going back to 1969 and individual folders for visits made back to 1980. The data entry stage was completed recently and the entries have been checked against the original data. Now it is possible to plot many relationships, among them the number of visits made per lecturer and the total number of Shapley visits made per academic year. The number of visits per year reaches a maximum in the 1985-86 academic year (132 visits) and then declines to 27 visits a year in 1993-94. (See the figure below.) This behavior mimics the relation of the inflation rate versus the year, with a lag of about two years. Now that we are in a period of low inflation the income earned by the Shapley Endowment Fund has declined, which points out the need for increasing the value of the fund. Also, over long periods of time, if no additions are made to the fund the income available for visits will decline to a small fraction of the amount available in the early 1970s. Lists have been made of those astronomers who have made 15 or more visits, and 25 or more visits since 1968. These lists will be posted with the paper.

[Figure, Number of Shapley Visits, will be printed here in the paper version of BAAS Vol. 28, No. 2.]

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