Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy

The Plumian chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy is one of the major professorships in Astronomy at Cambridge University, alongside the Lowndean Professorship (which is now mainly held by mathematicians). The chair is currently held at the Institute of Astronomy in the University. The Plumian chair was founded in 1704 by Thomas Plume, a member of Christ's and Archdeacon of Rochester, to "erect an Observatory and to maintain a studious and learned Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, and to buy him and his successors utensils and instruments quadrants telescopes etc."

Trustees were appointed, and statutes drawn up by Isaac Newton, John Flamsteed and John Ellys.[1] The first Professorship was awarded in 1706 to Roger Cotes, a former student of Newton, and the stipend was increased in 1768 by Dr Robert Smith, the second Plumian Professor.

Plumian ProfessorsEdit

  1. Roger Cotes (1706–1716)[2]
  2. Robert Smith (1716–1760)[3]
  3. Anthony Shepherd (1760–1796)[4]
  4. Samuel Vince (1796–1821)[5]
  5. Robert Woodhouse (1822–1827)[6]
  6. George Biddell Airy (1828–1835)[7]
  7. James Challis (1836–1882)[8]
  8. George Darwin (1883–1912)[9]
  9. Arthur Eddington (1913–1944)[10]
  10. Harold Jeffreys (1946–1958)[11]
  11. Fred Hoyle (1958–1972)[12]
  12. Martin Rees (1973–1991)[13]
  13. Richard Ellis (1993–2000)[14]
  14. Jeremiah Ostriker (2001–2003)[15]
  15. Robert Kennicutt (2006–2017)[16][17]
  16. Christopher S. Reynolds (2017–)[18]

SourcesEdit

  • R. A. Doe & C. C. Thornton, Dr Thomas Plume, 1630–1704. His life and legacies in Essex, Kent and Cambridge, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2020

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Joseph Edleston; Sir Isaac Newton; Roger Côtes (1850). Correspondence of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Cotes. Routledge. p. lxxiv note 158. ISBN 978-0-7146-1597-4. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  2. ^ Clerke, Agnes Mary (1887). "Cotes, Roger" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Courtney, William Prideaux (1898). "Smith, Robert (16891768)" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  4. ^ Baker, Henry Frederick (1897). "Shepherd, Antony" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 52. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  5. ^ Clerke, Agnes Mary (1899). "Vince, Samuel" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 58. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  6. ^ Phillips, Christopher (2006). "Robert Woodhouse and the Evolution of Cambridge Mathematics". History of Science. 44 (1): 69–93. doi:10.1177/007327530604400104. S2CID 162375713. In addition to holding the Lucasian Chair from 1820 to 1822, Woodhouse was the Plumian Professor from 1822 to 1827 and the first director of the Cambridge Observatory when it opened in 1824.
  7. ^ Turner, H. H. (1892). "George Biddell Airy". Obituary notice. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 52 (4): 212–229. doi:10.1093/mnras/52.4.212.
  8. ^ Clerke, A. M.; Wilson, David B. (19 May 2011). "Challis, James (1803–1882), astronomer and physicist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5024. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  9. ^ Kushner, David (28 May 2015). "Darwin, Sir George Howard (1845–1912), mathematician and geophysicist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32718. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ Spencer Jones, H.; Whittaker, E. T. (1945). "Arthur Stanley Eddington". Obituary notice. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 105 (2): 68–79. doi:10.1093/mnras/105.2.68.
  11. ^ Cook, Alan (1990). "Sir Harold Jeffreys, 2 April 1891 – 18 March 1989, Elected F.R.S. 1925". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 36: 302–333. JSTOR 770090.
  12. ^ "Professor Sir Fred Hoyle". Obituary. The Daily Telegraph. London. 22 August 2001. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  13. ^ Radford, Tim (2 December 2005). "Martin Rees". Profile. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  14. ^ Aspaturian, Heidi. "Interview with Richard Ellis" (January–February 2014) [Oral History]. Oral History Project, ID: 234. Pasadena, California: Archives, California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Elections". Cambridge University Reporter (5849). 6 June 2001. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Elections, appointments, and reappointments". Cambridge University Reporter (6023). 18 January 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Professors" (PDF). Cambridge University Reporter. Special numbers. 136 (4, Officers Number – Michaelmas Term 2016): 3. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Elections, appointments, reappointments, and grants of title". Cambridge University Reporter (6461): 447. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2019.