Professor Edward Charles Pickering S.B. '65, died here Monday evening after a brief illness. In the death of Professor Pickering the University loses still another prominent member of the Faculty and an honored graduate.
Professor Pickering was Director of the University Observatory, and held the Paine Professorship of Practical Astronomy. He ranked in seniority all but one of the other active professors of the University. He was born in Boston on July 19, 1846 and received his early education at the Boston Latin School. He graduated from the Lawrence Scientific School in 1865, and in 1880 the University conferred upon him the degree of A.M. Ever since, with the exception of nine years spent in teaching at M. I. T., he has been connected with the Astronomical Department of the University, holding various professorships since 1876.
The reputation of Professor Pickering as one of the world's leading astronomers is wide-spread. Under his direction the Observatory greatly widened its scope, until it had built up a system of correspondence with observatories and private astronomers all over the world through which discoveries and observations were compared and verified. He established the Observatory's auxiliary station at Arequipa, Peru, and devised many new methods of astronomical photography.
Professor Pickering has received the degrees of LL.D., Ph.D., D. Sc., and L. H. D. from numerous universities. He has been honored by the scientific societies of many European countries, and was author and editor of a large number of scientific books.
The funeral of Professor Pickering will be held at the Appleton Chapel at 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. His life-long friend and fellow-astronomer, the Reverend Joel H. Metcalf, of Winchester, will conduct the services.
Prof. Bailey Pays Tribute.
Professor S. I. Bailey, A.M. '88, Phillips Professor of Astronomy who for thirty-two years has been associated with Professor Pickering in an interview with a CRIMSON reporter, said that many messages of condolence had been received from distinguished scientists, and he also stated his appreciation of Professor Pickering and his work:
"The unexpected announcement of Professor Edward C. Pickering's death," said Professor Bailey, "brought instant response. Campbell, Director of the Lick Observatory, telegraphed, 'A great, unselfish man has gone. Our flag is at half-mast,' Hale, Director of the Solar Observatory, Mt. Wilson, 'Am greatly shocked and grieved, and hasten to send sincere sympathy.' Klotz, Director of the Dominion Observatory, Ottawa. 'The world has lost one of its great astronomical lights, and deans of science.' Plaskett, Director of the new Canadian Observatory, at Victoria, 'The news came to Mrs. Plaskett and me as a great shock and deep personal loss. The loss to Astronomy and Science is inestimable, but all his friends will chiefly mourn him for his lovable personal qualities.'
"These messages tell the story of the deep regard in which the scientific world held Professor Pickering. He was reckoned among the giants, but also he was possessed of the rare traits of courtesy, gentleness, kindness, and patience. Peristent to a marked degree, when convinced that he was right, he never failed to listen with careful attention to the views of others. Inspired with unbounded faith and enthusiasm in the work he was doing, he was always ready to change instantly any plan or belief, if convinced of its error. He was optimistic, trustful, and appreciative, of boundless energy in the pursuit of truth, and as willing to receive as to give advice. He was an unwearied executive, equally tireless in making broad plans and in carrying out elaborate details.