Portrait of Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel is the author of Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, The Planets, and A More Perfect Heaven. Interested in astronomy since childhood, she renewed and strengthened her interest under the influence of Carl Sagan, whom she first interviewed in 1972.

While on assignment as a science reporter for the New York Times, Sobel spent 25 days as a research subject in a study of human circadian rhythm. The protocol prevented her from knowing what time it was throughout her participation. Later her book Longitude, a surprise bestseller in several countries, emphasized the importance of precision timekeeping for position finding.

Sobel has served as contributing editor for several magazines, judged numerous book prizes (including the Pulitzer) and taught science writing at the college level. She continues to write articles about current research, but looks forward to a new book project about women in astronomy. An asteroid has been named for her: 30935davasobel.