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Beatrice M. Tinsley Centennial Visiting Professorship in Astronomy

The Tinsley Visiting Professorship was created in honor of the late Beatrice M. Tinsley who received her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas in 1967 and passed away at the young age of 40. The Visiting Professorship was created through private donations and a matching grant from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982-83. The Professorship allows the Astronomy Department to invite eminent astronomers to visit and work with our faculty and research scientists for approximately a month to facilitate longer and more productive collaborations. The recipient receives a $1000/week honorarium and has their travel and lodging covered.

List of Tinsley Professors

1985 Gillian Knapp
1988 Neta A. Bahcall
1988 Vera Rubin
1990 Richard B. Larson
1991-1992 Robert P. Kraft
1992 Virginia Trimble
1994 Bengt Gustafsson
1994 Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr.
1996 Ewine Fleur Van Dishoeck
1998 James W. Truran
2000 Ken Freeman
2000-2001 Keith Horne
2004-2005 Ralf Bender
2005-2006 Tom Geballe
2007-2008 Ramesh Narayan
2007-2008 Scott Tremaine
2007-2008 Ivan Hubeny
2008-2009 Geoffrey Blake
2009 Eliot Quataert
2010 Adam Burrows
2011 Lars Bildsten
2011 Charles Steidel
2012 Andrea Ferrara
2014 Mark Dickinson
2015 Sera Markoff
2018 Alyssa Goodman


Tinsley Scholars

The Tinsley Scholars program was created in 2007-08 as an addition to the Tinsley Visitor Program and invites early-career scientists to visit the department for approximately a week. They receive an honorarium of $1000, and their travel and lodging are covered. Each of the research groups in the Astronomy program chooses a visitor in their field, so we usually host up to six Tinsley Scholars a year. The Tinsley scholars typically give the weekly colloquium talk and often an additional seminar presentation during their visit.


Beatrice M. Tinsley

Dr. Beatrice M. Tinsley received her Ph.D. degree in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1967.  She was the second Ph.D. graduate of our department.  In 1975, after several temporary positions, she was appointed to Associate Professor of Astronomy at Yale University and promoted to Professor of Astronomy at Yale in 1978.  That same year, 1978, she learned that she had cancer and she died three years later on March 23, 1981 at age 40.

Dr. Tinsley was the world’s leading expert on studies of the evolution of galaxies.  Her studies allow us to discuss the changes, with time, in a galaxy’s star formation rate, the kind of stars formed, the kind and amount of heavy chemical elements those stars produce and the luminosity and color of the whole galaxy.  These studies have been essential in our understanding how we can use distant galaxies as “standard candles” in probing the size and shape of the Universe