AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 2. Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial
Invited, Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 8:30-9:20am, Grand Ballroom

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[2.01] Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial

D. H. DeVorkin (Smithsonian)

One of the many unexpected side-benefits of acting as editor of the AAS centennial volume was the chance to take a fresh look at some of the personalities who helped to shape the American Astronomical Society. A common characteristic of these people was their energy, compassion and drive to go "Beyond the Observatory," to borrow a phrase from Harlow Shapley. But what did going `beyond the observatory' mean to Shapley, or to the others who shaped and maintained the Society in its first one hundred years of life? Just as the discipline of astronomy has changed in profound ways in the past century, so has the American Astronomical Society changed, along with the people who have been its leaders and its sustainers and the culture that has fostered it. The Centennial meeting of the Society offers a chance to reflect on the people who have given American astronomy its sense of community identity.

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