“Invisible Labor in Astronomy and Astrophysics” is an interdisciplinary symposium organized by the University of Chicago Library and the Capturing the Stars research group. Coinciding with the installation of the new exhibit Capturing the Stars: The Untold History of Women at Yerkes Observatory, 1900-1930, this symposium brings together experts from diverse fields in the humanities and the sciences to consider questions of labor, credit, and expertise in the production of astronomical research. By examining the underrecognized labor of women, racialized minorities, and individuals from other historically excluded communities as well as the labor of technicians, instrument makers, and collaborators in the public sector, this symposium offers new perspectives on the history of astronomy and astrophysics while also foregrounding contemporary expert work on preservation, digitization, and use of astronomical glass plates in the present.
The Seventh Biennial Zar Symposium is made possible with the generous support of the Kathleen and Howard Zar Science Fund, with additional support from the John Crerar Foundation, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, and the University of Chicago’s Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. Support for the Capturing the Stars exhibit comes from the University of Chicago Women’s Board, the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, the Kathleen and Howard Zar Science Fund, and the John Crerar Foundation.
The ongoing work of the Capturing the Stars research group is supported by the Neubauer Collegium, the College Center for Research and Fellowships, the College Innovation Fund, the University of Chicago Division of the Physical Sciences, and the University of Chicago Library. The work of the research group has also been supported by the National Science Foundation. The research group gratefully acknowledges the Yerkes Future Foundation for their continued support of preservation work and educational outreach activities at Yerkes Observatory.
Image: An astronomer at the Yerkes Observatory telescope, year unknown. Courtesy of the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.