Gresham College Press Release 13/06/2011


Carolin Crawford
Following in the footsteps of Sir Christopher Wren


Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Carolin Crawford as the new Professor of Astronomy. In this position, she will carry on the 414-year-old tradition of delivering free public lectures in the City of London.

Professor Carolin Crawford is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and Outreach Officer at the Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy, where she was previously Assistant Director of Research. She is a regular contributor to Radio 4. She has held research fellowships at Balliol College, Oxford and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 2009 she received a Woman of Outstanding Achievement award for the communication of science, engineering and technology.

The appointment of Professor Crawford comes 354 years after Sir Christopher Wren was appointed to the same position of Gresham Professor of Astronomy. Indeed, it was after one of Sir Christopher’s Gresham College lectures in 1660 that the first meeting of The Royal Society took place. More recent celebrated incumbents of the Gresham Astronomy Professorship include Lord Rees, Colin Pillinger, Frank Close, John D Barrow and most recently Professor Ian Morison of Jodrell Bank.

Professor Crawford views her appointment to this illustrious chair as a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience with her award-winning abilities at communicating her understanding and passion for astronomy:

“The appointment presents a great opportunity to speak to an audience of interested, intelligent people, and to develop with them a deeper knowledge of the physical sciences as illustrated by astronomy. I propose to give popular-level lectures, designed to showcase the very latest developments and ideas in astronomy and cosmology, whilst putting them into the context of the process of scientific discovery. These talks will be strongly image-driven, and I hope to demonstrate that physical concepts can be conveyed and explored without the need or use of complicated equations.”

Professor Crawford’s hour-long free public lectures will take place at the Museum of London, EC2:

A voyage round Saturn, its rings and moons Wednesday 2nd November 2011
The sounds of the Universe Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Rotation in space Wednesday 1st February 2012
Clusters of galaxies Wednesday 7th March 2012
Large telescopes and why we need them Wednesday 9th May 2012
Star dust Wednesday 13th June 2012

GreshamCollegewas founded through the will of Sir Thomas Gresham in 1597. As perhaps the greatest Elizabethan financier and the founder of the Royal Exchange, Sir Thomas left provision for the establishment of the College in his mansion on Bishopsgate where the original seven professors lived and worked. It was here that Gresham Professors first formed the Royal Society, Sir Christopher Wren and Thomas Hooke amongst them. The College continues to flourish today with its four or so free public lectures taking place every week and then subsequently available from the Gresham College website.

The College is delighted to welcome Professor Crawford as Professor of Astronomy and we look forward to her public lectures which will continue the four-century-old tradition of science communication.


Further links:
Professor Carolin Crawford's page on the Gresham College website:
Further information about the Astronomy Professorship at Gresham College: