Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interesting details of Dr. Kameny's career

If anyone has any personal memories of Dr. Kameny, please post them or send them along.

"Doc" Kinne's website here has some interesting tidbits about Dr. Kameny's life:

Dr. Kameny's thesis had been A Photoelectric Study of Some RV Tauri and Yellow Semiregular Variables. "Why RV Tauri stars," I'd asked.

"Well, like any graduate student to wants to get a Ph.D. you have to find a thesis topic. My advisor, Dr. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, suggested it. I didn't know anything about RV Tauri stars at the time so I educated myself about them, took the data, and wrote the thesis." Dr. Kameny said is largest regret is that after the thesis has been written Harvard University allocated the sum of $200 to have a paper written, to be published in the ApJ, based on the thesis results. This never got done.

In taking his Ph.D. at Harvard in the 1950s Frank has strong memories working with the giants of the field - Harlow Shapley, and Bart Bok specifically, as well as Dr. Payne-Gaposchkin. He also remembers Margaret Mayall working in the Harvard Observatory at the time along with Dr. Dorrit Hoffleit. Frank's memory, as he told me, was for numbers, not people, but after 50 years he definitely had a memory of working with these folks.

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