BornLondon, England, 2 August 1890
DiedHull, England, 4 September 1978
A professional astronomer, Herbert Dingle retrained himself as a historian at the University of London during the early evolution of the history of science as a profession. Spectroscopy, astrophysics, relativity, and cosmology were his main interests as an astronomer. He served a number of years as a Royal Astronomical Society [RAS] council member, secretary, and finally as RAS president from 1951 to 1953. His presidential address in 1953 was a satirical attack on the notion of a “perfect cosmological principle” (the underlying idea of the steady-state cosmological model of Hermann Bondi , Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle that the Universe should look the same to observers at all times as well as in all places). In 1956, Dingle triggered a substantial debate with William McCrea , soon joined by others, on the Twin or Clock paradox in Albert Einstein ’s discussion of special relativity. Dingle never accepted the reality of this aspect of special relativity.