Don Mathewson at ANU
Don Mathewson outside University House, Australian National University (Photo: Peter Robertson)

The Study

Podcast No. 11: Interview with Don Mathewson

by Craig Robertson

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Podcast No. 11: Don Mathewson (14.3 Mb mpeg-4; 60 minutes)

Don Mathewson is a radiophysicist and astronomer. He was recruited to CSIRO Radiophysics by Joe Pawsey in the 1950s, did his PhD at Jodrell Bank Observatory under Robert Hanbury Brown, and also where he knew Bernard Lovell. After returning to Australia he eventually became Director of Mt Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, and Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University. He discovered the Magellanic Stream, had an advanced telescope built at Siding Springs, did major work on galaxy structures and supernova remnants, and the structure of the universe. After retirement he lost all his papers and memorabilia in the bushfires on Mt Stromlo in 2003. This interview © Copyright Don Mathewson & Craig Robertson, 2008.
Note: This interview was recorded by Craig Robertson in a sound studio at the National Library of Australia. Many thanks to Kevin Bradley, Curator, Oral History and Folklore, NLA, and his staff for their generous assistance.
Music in this podcast includes my two regular themes:
Introduction and final announcements: Prelude from J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C, Book 1, BWV846, played by Ronald Farren-Price, from his album Reflections, courtesy of Move Records © 1993
Prelude to the section "In my study": a movement from G.F. Handel: Suite No. 5 in E major, played by Elizabeth Anderson on her album The Convict Harpsichordist, also courtesy of Move Records © 2003

In my study: Alone at night - notes on quietness, concentration, Raymond Chandler and astronomers; see In my study No.11 (4.2 Mb; 4' 35"). See: The life of Raymond Chandler by Frank MacShane (E.P. Dutton, New York, c.1976).

Don Mathewson: selected publications about his life and work

Tom Frame & Don Faulkner, Stromlo: An Australian Observatory, Allen & Unwin, 2003
Ray Haynes, Roslyn Haynes, David Malin & Richard McGee, Explorers of the Southern Sky: a History of Australian Astronomy, Cambridge University Press, 1996
Ragbir Bhathal, Australian Astronomers: Achievements at the Frontiers of Astronomy, National Library of Australia, 1996
Peter Robertson, Beyond Southern Skies: Radio Astronomy and the Parkes Telescope, with a Foreword by Sir Bernard Lovell, Cambridge University Press, 1992

All material, unless otherwise stated, is © Copyright Craig Robertson, 2008

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