Letter from the Director: September 2020


Dear Friends,

I hope you are safe and well. 

As I write this letter, The Observatories' staff is still working from home. In some ways, astronomers were better prepared for working remotely than many others,  given that most of our work is done on our laptops. Still, working at home does present many challenges,  especially for those who have additional family responsibilities. While we anxiously await the opportunity to return to the office, we will continue to pursue the mysteries of the universe from our houses and apartments. 

An additional downside of working remotely is that we were unable to say goodbye to some of our departing postdocs in person. However, I'm thrilled to report that seven of our postdocs secured tenure-track jobs this year. This would be an incredible accomplishment any year, but is particularly impressive in 2020, since many universities were forced to cancel their job searches due to the pandemic. The Observatories has a long track record of placing its postdocs in permanent astronomy positions; the vast majority of our postdocs have gone on to research careers in astronomy. In this way, we play a major role in developing the astronomy leaders of the future. Although we had to say our goodbyes virtually, we look forward to following the sure-to-be-impressive careers of our departing postdocs in the years and decades ahead.

The pandemic has also forced us to move many of our events online. We've rescheduled two of the postponed lectures from our spring lecture series at The Huntington. The first will be livestreamed this afternoon and the second next month. We will also be hosting our first virtual Open House the week of October 12th. While we will miss seeing your smiling faces, we hope our friends will enjoy these educational opportunities from home and that we will be able to welcome you to additional programs in the coming months.

Stay safe and thank you as always for your support of Carnegie Science.


Dr. John Mulchaey
Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair and Director of the Carnegie Observatories