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Rebecca Elson (1960 - 1999)

Books by this author: A Responsibility to Awe (2e)
  • About
  • Reviews
  • REBECCA ELSON was an astronomer. Her principal work focused on globular clusters, teasing out the history of stellar birth, life and death. Born in Montreal, Quebec, of Canadian and US parents, she studied at Smith, St Andrews, and the University of British Columbia. She took her PhD at Cambridge, where she won an Isaac Newton Studentship. She started publishing poems while working at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, and researched at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics. In 1991 she returned to the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge to work on the first Hubble data.

    She died in Cambridge in 1999, aged 39.

    A Responsibility to Awe collects her best poetry and extracts from her notebooks. An autobiographical essay provides background to this alert imagination, from her upbringing as a geologist's daughter in Canada to her scientific career around the world.
       
    Praise for Rebecca Elson (1960 - 1999) 'A writer poised between professional scientific awareness and the pleasures and pains of personal life.'
    Dilys Wood, Artemis Poetry
    'If Stephen Hawkin's last book opened your eyes to science writing, Rebecca Elson's reissued A Responsibility to Awe will open your heart to it.'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    'With great poignancy, she shows us the world through the eyes of a human being faced by her finite time.'
    The Economist Books of the Year, 2001
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