Savilian Professor of Astronomy

The position of Savilian Professor of Astronomy was established at the University of Oxford in 1619. It was founded (at the same time as the Savilian Professorship of Geometry) by Sir Henry Savile, a mathematician and classical scholar who was Warden of Merton College, Oxford and Provost of Eton College. He appointed John Bainbridge as the first professor, and Bainbridge took up his duties in 1620 or 1621.

There have been 21 astronomy professors in all; Steven Balbus, the current professor, was appointed in September 2012, replacing Joseph Silk. Past professors include Christopher Wren (1661–73), architect of St Paul's Cathedral in London and the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford; he held the professorship at the time of his commission to rebuild the cathedral after it was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Two professors have been awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society: Charles Pritchard (1870–93) and Harry Plaskett (1932–60). The two Savilian chairs have been linked with professorial fellowships at New College, Oxford since the late 19th century. In the past, some of the professors were provided with an official residence, either near New College or at the Radcliffe Observatory, although this practice ended in the 19th century. The astronomy professor is a member of the Sub-Department of Astrophysics at Oxford.

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Savilian Professor Of Astronomy - List of Professors
... Details about the professors and their work Name Years Education College as professor Notes Bainbridge, JohnJohn Bainbridge 1620 or 1621 – 1643 Cambridge ... Savile and Henry Briggs (who Savile appointed as his first geometry professor) ... of contemporary developments in astronomy, such as the work of Johannes Kepler, and studied Arabic to acquire details of astronomical observations in ancient sources ...

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