The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
Photo: Mia Berg
The Glass Universe is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
In the 19th-century Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators or ‘human computers’ to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. These women changed the history of astronomy, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim – they helped discern what stars are made of and how to categorize them as well as finding a way to measure distances across space by starlight.
‘This is intellectual history at its finest. Dava Sobel is extraordinarily accomplished at uncovering the hidden stories of science and conveying complex information with ease and grace. In The Glass Universe, she brings to the foreground the glittering brilliance of five 19th Century women whose work at the Harvard Observatory changed the history of astronomy.’
- Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
‘Sensitive, exacting, and lit with the wonder of discovery.’
- Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction
'If you like your science lyrical Dava Sobel is the author for you’
‘Sobel is a stunning talent that continues to sparkle and interest us all as much as the subjects she writes about’
- The Guardian
‘Sobel has an extraordinary gift of making difficult ideas clear’
- Daily Telegraph