Astronomy for All Lectures

The Astronomy For All Lecture Series was started by Associate Fellow Charles Barclay in 2006 as a way of strengthening and reinforcing the link between Green Templeton, home of the Radcliffe Observatory, and astronomy and the Oxford Astrophysics Department in particular.

In 2003, Charles joined the Common Room of Green College (which merged with Templeton College five years later) as the first Astronomer since the Observatory moved in 1935. This arose from the discovery by Anne Charles (who worked at the Radcliffe Infirmary, then-next door) that the Victorian telescope which had been restored at Marlborough College in Wiltshire and opened by Professor Joe Silk, the Savilian Professor, had come from the Radcliffe Observatory in 1935.

It also transpired that, by chance, the original owner of the telescope, Joseph Gurney Barclay, was Charles’ great-grandfather’s first cousin. The telescope had been given to the Radcliffe Observatory and the Observer, Edward Stone, in 1885 and named the Barclay equatorial telescope.

Charles joined the astrophysics sub-department at the University of Oxford, first as a joint lead for an outreach project with Professor Roger Davies, the Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics, and then formally in 2004 as an Academic Visitor and member of the Department. He is also an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton, Outreach Astronomer and Director of the Blackett Observatory at Marlborough College.

The lecture series, is aimed at giving the college an astronomical focus and the three lectures now takes place at Green Templeton every year. Charles maintains consistency by delivering one talk himself, while the others are given by notable astronomers and young post-docs from the Department.


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