Conversations in Science Series
A program conceived and organized by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with the collaboration of the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Edgewood Sonderegger Science Center.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Sonderegger Science Center (Parking Info attached)
1000 Edgewood College Drive Madison, Wisconsin

Evan Richards
UW Space Science and Engineering Center
"Science in Space: Wisconsin's 100 Year Journey to the Hubble Space Telescope"

The Conversations in Science series brings together UW-Madison science researchers and Dane County science teachers. Designed to stimulate discussion between scientists and science educators at all levels, these conversations connect high-, middle-, and elementary school classrooms with the University's cutting-edge research. Questions and ideas are freely exchanged between expert and an audience of K-12 educators.


The UW's High Speed Photometer was selected by NASA in 1977 to be one of the five original scientific instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope and was launched April 24, 1990 by Shuttle Discovery, STS-31. Although its planned observation program was severely affected by the telescope's primary mirror spherical aberation, useful scientific observations were carried out including the first ultraviolet broadband light curve of the Crab Pulsar, light curves of eclipsing dwarf nova Z Chamaeleontis at 1350 , and observations of flare on CN Leo. It carried out science observations and was used for several studies of Hubble Space Telescope performance until it was removed during the first servicing mission in December 1993. Data collected by the High Speed Photometer have been used to augment subsequent research, including the search for black holes.

Cadwallader Washburn's gift of an observatory to the University of Wisconsin in 1877 provided the foundation for the development of a Department of Astronomy and a research program that, in 1922, began pioneering research in photoelectric astronomy that continues to the present time. Wisconsin's 130 year legacy of astronomical research and leadership grew from Washburn's vision.


A native of Wisconsin, Evan Richards served as Project Manager of the Hubble Space Telescope High Speed Photometer at UW Space Science and Engineering from 1977 to 1995. He established NASA's Reliability, Quality Assurance and Configuration Management system for SSEC and managed other projects between 1975 and his retirement in 2006. Previously, he worked for Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, IA on the Apollo Command Module communications and data subsystem and for Raytheon Company, Missile Systems Division, in Bedford, MA. Richards holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering from the UW-Madison.

Richards currently serves on the boards of directors of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Madison Youth Choir, Madison Savoyards, Ltd., the Association of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras and the League of American Orchestras (formerly American Symphony Orchestra League) Youth Orchestra Division. He has produced DVDs and CDs for the Madison Savoyards and served as webmaster for several arts organizations. Formerly host of a classical musical program on WORT in Madison, he has also served on the McFarland School Board.


*For information about the Hubble Space Telescope:
*For a history of UW Washburn Observatory:
*For a history of the development of the Hubble Space Telescope: Smith, Robert W. "The Space Telescope, a study of NASA, science, technology, and politics" Cambridge University Press, 1989
*For an account of the human drama and politics of the early operations period: Chaisson, Eric J. "The Hubble Wars" Harvard University Press, 1998

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