Beyond the Solar System, all astronomers have to work with is the
light that falls to the Earth from distant cosmic objects. Newer, larger
telescopes are always needed to boost scientific progress, and the next
generation of facilities - whether the 42m diameter optical-infrared Extremely
Large Telescope, or the Square Kilometre Array of radio dishes - will represent
a huge advance. We shall look at the science driving the need for such large
telescopes, through history and to the present-day and beyond. Many scientific
and engineering challenges are involved in the design and construction of the
largest telescopes and their mirrors, and technological developments will be
essential to their success.
Outreach Officer at the Instituteof Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, Professor Carolin Crawford is one of Britain's foremost science communicators.
After receiving her PhD from NewnhamCollege, Cambridge, Professor Crawford went on to a series of fellowships from BalliolCollege, Oxford, Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Royal Society. In 2004 she was appointed as a Fellow and College Lecturer at EmmanuelCollege, Cambridge, where she is now also the undergraduate Admissions Tutor for the Physical Sciences. Since 2005 she has combined her college role with that of Outreach Officer at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Crawford’s primary research interests are in combining X-ray, optical and near-infrared observations to study the physical processes occurring around massive galaxies at the core of clusters of galaxies. In particular, she observes the complex interplay between the hot intra-cluster medium, filaments of warm ionized gas, cold molecular clouds, star formation and the radio plasma flowing out from the central supermassive black hole.
In 2009 Professor Crawford’s outstanding abilities at science communication were recognized by a Women of Outstanding AchievementAward by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, presented for “communication of science with a contribution to society.”
Appointed as the 36thGresham Professor of Astronomy in 2011, Professor Crawford looks forward to presenting her Gresham lectures wherein she plans “to showcase the very latest developments and ideas in astronomy and cosmology, whilst putting them into the context of the process of scientific discovery.”