Owen Gingerich is emeritus professor of astronomy and the history of science at Harvard University and an emeritus senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. A leading authority on the sixteenth-century Polish cosmologist Nicolaus Copernicus and the seventeenth-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, he spent three decades tracking down and examining copies of De revolutionibus
orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), the seminal work in which Copernicus first proposed that the Earth is not fixed but revolves around the Sun. His own contributions to theoretical astronomy include work on stellar atmospheres. A member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as a trustee of the John Templeton Foundation and a member of its board of advisors.