Smithsonian Institution Archives

David Challinor Oral History Interviews, 1999

46 results in SIA.FARU9599 for "Challinor, David"
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Focuses on the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO); development of the Multiple-Mirror Telescope with the University of Arizona with disks from the U.S. Air Force; innovative design elements; National Science Foundation limits on funding; dynamics of a multi-institutional project; chess games on mainframe computer; development of the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena; Prairie Network of the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project had limited successes; surplus property crisis when staff member mistakenly traded for other equipment; the subsequent internal audit system later allowed SI to own ships for coral reef research; challenges of managing a complex science organization; Secretary Ripley's approach to Congressional hearings; transition from Fred L. Whipple to George B. Field as SAO director; Field's management style; relationships with Harvard University over the Center for Astrophysics; appointment of Irwin Shapiro, of MIT, as director in 1983; important role of assistant directors Carlton Tillinghast and John G. Gregory; role of Robert A. Brooks as Undersecretary, followed by Michael Collins and Phillip S. Hughes; Brooks' relationship with Regent James E. Webb, chair of the Executive Committee; Chief Justice Warren Burger and his relationship to S. Dillon Ripley and the Smithsonian; Challinor's image of the "barons and bishops" - Assistant Secretaries and central administrators, and their roles at the Smithsonian; SAO "Mafia" of great Italian astrophysicists, including Guiseppe Colombo, Riccardo Giaconni, Luigi Jacchia and others; role of Board of Regents in securing funding; and increasingly important role of computers in Smithsonian research, 1970s-1990s.
Interviews