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Brian Boyle interviewed by Ragbir Bhathal in the Australian astronomers oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 3598035
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Boyle, Brian, 1960-, Interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2005 
3 digital audio tapes (ca. 195 min.) 

Australian astronomers oral history project.


Brian Boyle, born 1960 in Scotland, talks about his family background; his early life; his primary and secondary school education; the development of his interest in astronomy; his undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh; his PhD at the University of Durham; his work on quasars and studying the demographics of quasars for his PhD and the significance of his work; his working life as an SERC Fellow at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh; coming to Australia on an Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) Fellowship; the influence of postdoctoral fellowships on his career development; establishing his career at Cambridge University; the Royal Edinburgh Observatory; his appointment as the Director of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO); his major achievements as Director of AAO; the UK Schmidt telescope; the genesis of 2dF idea; Peter Gray, Richard Ellis and Roger Angel on the use of fibre optics; Britain pulling out of AAO in 2010; his appointment as Director of Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) in 2003; the Square Kilometre Array (SKA); his vision for ATNF; 7mm and 12 mm radio astronomy.

Boyle gives an overview of cosmology, astrophysics and surveys. He then discusses the Supernova Cosmology Project Team; measurements of Omega M and Omega Lambda and implications of this for nature and structure of the universe; the use of supernovae; his work on quasars and their importance in astronomical studies; the 2dF QSO Redshift survey; the outcome of this work on luminosity evolution models; a catalogue of faint UV excess objects; distribution of quasars in the universe; the Deep ROSAT survey and X-ray evolution of QSOs; his research strategy; his postgraduate students; work on astronomical committees; the Decadal Plan for Australian astronomy; science programs to be carried out with the SKA; Australian astronomy and industry; Australian Board of Management; conditions for astronomy in Australia compared to those in US and Europe; his most productive work; developmental conditions for producing elite astronomers; his family and their support; his achievements in life to date; the new directions for AAO and the development of new instrumentation.


Professor Brian Boyle is the Director of the Australia Telescope National Facility. He has held positions at the University of Edinburgh, the Anglo-Australian Observatory and the University of Cambridge. He was the Director of the Anglo-Australian Observatory from 1996 to 2003. He received a Centenary Medal in 2003 from the Commonwealth Government for services to Australian astronomy. His research interests include cosmology, quasars, large scale structure and extragalatic surveys. He is Chair of the National Committee for Astronomy and Vice-Chair of the International Square Kilometre Array Steering Committee.


Recorded on November 11, 2005 at the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, Epping, N.S.W.

Also available online via the Internet at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-vn3598035

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (4 p.) 
Subjects Boyle, Brian, - 1960- - Interviews.  |  Australia Telescope National Facility.  |  Square Kilometre Array.  |  Astronomers - Australia - Interviews.  |  Astrophysics.  |  Cosmology.
Occupation Astronomers.
Other authors/contributors Bhathal, Ragbir (Ragbir Singh), Interviewer

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Details Collect From
Copy: Recording
Petherick Reading Room (Oral History)
ORAL TRC 5567 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Petherick Reading Room (Oral History)

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Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.