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350 years and counting: three and a half centuries of perseverance, ingenuity and public duty at the ROG
350 years and counting: three and a half centuries of perseverance, ingenuity and public duty at the ROG

Mon, 23 Jun

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Queen's House

350 years and counting: three and a half centuries of perseverance, ingenuity and public duty at the ROG

by Dr Louise Devoy, Senior Curator, Royal Observatory Greenwich On 10 August 1675, John Flamsteed laid the foundation stone of the new Royal Observatory situated in Greenwich Park... DETAILS ON HOW TO BOOK FOR THIS EVENT ARE EMAILED TO MEMBERS IN THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Time & Location

23 Jun 2025, 19:15 – 21:00

Queen's House, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, UK

About the Event

Synopsis: On 10 August 1675, John Flamsteed laid the foundation stone of the new Royal Observatory situated in Greenwich Park. Little did the first Astronomer Royal know that two centuries later his ‘small observatory’, designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, would become the world’s reference for time and longitude.

As we celebrate the site’s 350th anniversary in 2025, I’d like to take this opportunity to explore the myriad of stories associated with this small cluster of buildings that ultimately shaped how we measure, standardise and distribute time; how we explore and map the planet; and how we record and question distant objects in the universe. What was it like to work at such a unique place? What were the technical and social challenges? How did this place transform from just one man’s role into a major global scientific institution? Find out more as we travel through 350 years of perseverance, ingenuity and public duty at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Bio: Dr Louise Devoy is Senior Curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. After initial studies in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Leicester, Louise undertook further studies in the history of science at Imperial College London and completed her doctorate in 2010. She has subsequently worked as an astronomy educator, exhibition content developer and curator at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, Science Museum and British Museum respectively, specialising in the history of astronomy.

Since joining Royal Museums Greenwich in 2013, Louise has contributed to the redisplay of several galleries within the Royal Observatory, including the Great Equatorial Telescope dome and the Time and Longitude gallery. In 2016 she was lead curator for Observatory Life to reinterpret the domestic spaces once occupied by the Astronomers Royal and their families. She also contributed to the historical section of The Moon exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in 2019.

Louise’s academic publications have focused on the science of the Tudor period, particularly in relation to astronomical instruments, the scholar John Dee (1527–1609), and England’s first native-born scientific instrument-maker Humfrey Cole (d. 1591). She is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and is actively involved with the Scientific Instrument Commission and the Scientific Instrument Society.

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