Founded in 1911, the AAVSO boasts over 1200 members and observers and is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to variable star observation. This timely book marks the AAVSO's centennial year, presenting an authoritative and accurate history of this important association. Writing in an engaging and accessible style, the authors move chronologically through five eras of the AAVSO, discussing the evolution of its structure and purpose. Throughout the text, the main focus is on the thousands of individuals whose contributions have made the AAVSO's progress possible. Describing a century of interaction between amateur and professional astronomers, the authors celebrate the collaborative relationships that have existed over the years. As the definitive history of the first hundred years of the AAVSO, this text has broad appeal and will be of interest to amateur and professional astronomers, as well as historians and sociologists of science in general.
Tom Williams is the AAVSO Historian and has served in AAVSO leadership positions for over 20 years, including twice as president. He earned a Ph.D. in History from Rice University in 2000, after spending over thirty years as an industrial chemist and manufacturing manager. Since then, Dr Williams has served as a senior editor for the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007) and has written forty-three entries for that work. Over the past twenty-five years he has published book chapters, encyclopedia entries and over thirty articles and book reviews. Michael Saladyga is Technical Assistant and Archivist at the AAVSO where he has written several articles on variable star astronomy history for JAAVSO: The Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers and has contributed to a number of AAVSO technical monographs and historical articles on variable stars. He earned a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in 1995. As AAVSO Archivist, he has arranged and catalogued the AAVSO's historical papers - the foundation for much of this book.
Preface; Part I. Pioneers in Variable Star Astronomy Prior to 1909: 1. The emergence of variable star astronomy - a need for observations; 2. A need for observers; Part II. The Founding of the AAVSO - The William Tyler Olcott Era: 3. The amateur's amateur; 4. Amateurs in the service of science; Part III. The Leon Campbell Era: 5. Leon Campbell to the rescue; 6. Formalizing relationships; 7. The Pickering Memorial Endowment; 8. Fading of the Old Guard; 9. Growing pains and distractions; Part IV. The Service Bureau - The Margaret Mayall Era: 10. Learning about independence; 11. Eviction from Harvard College Observatory; 12. Actions and reactions; 13. In search of a home; 14. Survival on Brattle Street; 15. AAVSO achievements; 16. Breathing room on Concord Avenue; Part V. Analysis and Science: The Janet Mattei Era: 17. The growth of a director; 18. Learning the ropes the hard way; 19. Managing with renewed confidence; 20. Expanding the scientific charter; Part VI. Accelerating Observational Science - The Arne Henden Era: 21. Bridging the gap; 22. Accelerating the science - the Henden era begins; Epilogue; Appendices; Index.