Owen Gingerich

Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

What He Studies

The nature of truth in science and how our understanding of the universe—its creation and design—is formed through observation, interpretation, and persuasion, as well as our personal picture of the world and our place in it.

in the news

In a Planet-or-Not Debate, Some Astronomers Say “Long Live Planet Pluto”

What, exactly, is a planet? The definition has changed as new observations accrued, says Harvard astronomer and historian Owen Gingerich, who chaired the IAU committee charged with defining the word. For some, the definition of a planet is kind of like the Supreme Court definition of pornography: You know it when you see it.
— National Geographic


Kepler, Mars and the Turning Point in Astronomy

In the debut issue of a new open access online journal, Euresis, Owen Gingerich offers a fascinating essay on Johannes Kepler and his book Astronomia Nova.
— Forbes


Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street, MS 9
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-495-7216
Email: ogingerich@cfa.harvard.edu