Tuesday 19 April 2012
6:00 – 7:30 pm
John Connell Auditorium
21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne
The Great Melbourne Telescope is one of the great hidden stories of 19th century Melbourne, yet at the time it received much press coverage and public attention. At the completion of its construction by Dublin engineer Thomas Grubb, the telescope was hailed as a masterpiece of engineering, the first large telescope to be placed on an equatorial
mounting. Erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1869, the telescope was the second largest telescope in the world, designed to explore the nature of the nebulae in the southern hemisphere skies.
The telescope was transferred to Mount Stromlo Observatory in 1946, where it was twice rebuilt and modernised for major research projects, until it was destroyed by the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
The Great Melbourne Telescope is about to embark on a new chapter in its history, with plans to restore and refurbish it for public and educational use, back home in its original building at Melbourne Observatory.
About the Speaker:
Dr Richard Gillespie trained as a historian of science at the University of Melbourne and University of Pennsylvania. He taught history of science and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Deakin University and the University of Melbourne before joining Museum Victoria in 1990, where he is now Head of the History & Technology Department. The department cares for a collection of close to one million objects, images and related archives. The department also contributes to exhibitions, websites, publications and programs, and provides historical expertise for the interpretation of three heritage buildings: the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building, the old Melbourne Customs
House, and the Spotswood Sewerage Pumping Station. Richard Gillespie has also led the development of exhibitions at Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum He has been a Fulbright Scholar, been awarded a Mellon Fellowship,
Gordon Darling Fellowship, and received the Henry Schuman Prize of the History of Science Society (US).
He is the author of The Great Melbourne Telescope (Museum Victoria, 2011) and Manufacturing Knowledge: A History of the Hawthorne Experiments (Cambridge Univ
Registration at: http://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/divisions/victoria-division/events is
This is a free event.
Contact for queries: Emily James at:
Attendance may be credited towards Engineers