Born in England, her family came to New Zealand when she was 5. She was educated first in New Plymouth and then at the University of Canterbury. In 1961 she married Brian Tinsley. In 1963 they travelled to the USA, where they remained
Beatrice was celebrated for her work as a synthesiser, the bringing together of apparently unrelated and individual scraps and strands of knowledge and theory, to help create a whole.
These Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lectures are our way of celebrating the life and work of this extraordinarily appealing and altogether remarkable young woman.
The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand is delighted to present the first of an annual series of astronomical lectures named after the New Zealand cosmologist Beatrice Hill Tinsley. Each year a prominent astronomer will be invited to give a lecture in a number of venues throughout New Zealand.
Lectures are open to the public. A small charge may be made. Venues and times of the 2012 lectures
The lectures are organised by the RASNZ Lecture Trust and made possible by the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
We know a good deal about ancient astronomical knowledge and practices in places such as ancient China and Babylonia from the evidence contained in their recorded history, but people all over the world strived to make sense of what they saw in the sky long before the written record existed. What can we ever know of this?
Many people have suggested that Stonehenge and many other prehistoric constructions around the world provide proof of sophisticated sky knowledge that existed as far back in the Stone Age. If that is so, how did our distant ancestors acquire it and how did they use it?
In the absence of written evidence, we must find indications in the evidence available to the archaeologist: things such as man-made objects, human debris, and the layout of monuments and buildings. There are also valuable clues in beliefs and practices that have survived among indigenous peoples right through to modern times. Trying to make sense of this type of evidence is the business of the fields of study that have become known as archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy.
As Clive will show, some of the world's most iconic ancient monuments provide tantalising glimpses of long lost beliefs and practices relating to the sky, although they often have to be interpreted with considerable caution. Taking in examples from many different parts of the world, including his own ongoing field projects in Europe, Peru and Hawaii, Clive will use these insights to build up a broad picture of the diverse ways in which ancient peoples perceived and understood the world - the cosmos - within which they dwelt.
Clive has worked in many parts of the world and has published books, papers and articles on subjects ranging from prehistoric Europe and pre-Columbian America to ancient Greece, Egypt, Polynesia and indigenous astronomies in Africa. He has ongoing fieldwork projects in Peru and Hawaii as well as various parts of Europe, and is a leading figure in a joint initiative by UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union to promote, preserve, and protect the world's most important astronomical heritage sites.
His work in South America hit the headlines in March 2007 with the publication in the journal Science of his work with Peruvian archaeologist Ivan Ghezzi on the Thirteen Towers of Chankillo, a 2300-year old solar observation site. His books include Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland (Yale UP, 1999), Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth (ABC-CLIO, 2005), Skywatching in the Ancient World: New Perspectives in Cultural Astronomy, edited with anthropologist Gary Urton (Colorado, 2007), and most recently Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy, edited with technology historian Michel Cotte (ICOMOS-IAU 2010) and Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures (Cambridge UP, 2011), the Proceedings of the first IAU Symposium to be devoted to this topic.
Clive's website is www.cliveruggles.net.RASNZ home page.