Radio Astronomy, Whatever that May be
Today we see radio astronomy as a fully-integrated part of astronomy; it is now just one of several available wavelength regimes and many astrophysicists who use radio data are not radio astronomers themselves. At the beginning, it was very different. Between 1946 and 1960, radio astronomy emerged as an important speciality but it was an area little understood by mainstream astronomers. Radio astronomers rarely published in astronomical journals, gave papers at astronomical conferences or were accorded much notice. The pioneers in the field were not astronomers themselves and had little in common with astronomers. In this paper I note the various ways in which radio astronomy was alienated from the mainstream in its first decade and some of the reasons this alienation occurred. I will also speculate on when and how the integration began to occur.
Key wordsRadio astronomers optical astronomy astrophysicists history and philosophy of science
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