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Astronomer, mathemetician, writer. First president (1885-86), American Society for Psychical Research. B. March 12, 1835, Wallace, Nova Soctia; d. July 11, 1909, Washington, D.C. B.S., 1858, Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard University. M. 1863, Mary Caroline Hassler. Appointed professor of mathematics, U.S. Nay, 1861, and assigned to duty at the U.S. Naval Observatory; retired with the naval rank of captain, 1897. Director, American Nautical Almanac, 1877-97; professor of mathematics and astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 1884-94.

Dr. Newcomb, who became world renowned as an astronomer and mathematician, developed in painstaking research over many years tables of the planetary system adopted by most of the world's observatories. His work on the theory of the moon's motion resulte in the construction of accurate lunar tables. He received honorary degrees from many universities, including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Edinburgh, Cracow, Heidelberg and Padua, and was winner among other honors of the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society of London. Besides some 300 research papers published in scholarly journals, he wrote several mathematics textbooks and a number of books on astronomy for the general reader. Although he was first president of the ASPR, Dr. Newcomb was skeptical of the scientific value of psychical research adn of the validity of the investigation of spontaneous phenomena. See his Reminicences of an Astronomer (1930).

Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications



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