Dava Sobel
Dava Sobel speaking at a Yale event

Dava Sobel (born June 15, 1947[1]) is a writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and Binghamton University. Her works include:

  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (1995) - the genius in question was John Harrison, who spent decades trying to convince the British Admiralty of the accuracy of his naval timepieces and their use in determining longitude when at sea in order to win the longitude prize. ISBN 1-85702-571-7 - The book itself won the 1997 British Book of the Year award.
  • Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love (2000) ISBN 0-14-028055-3
  • The Best American Science Writing 2004 (editor)
  • The Planets: A discourse on the discovery, science, history and mythology, of the planets in our solar system, with one chapter devoted to each of the celestial spheres. (2005) ISBN 1-85702-850-3
  • A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos (2011) ISBN 978-0802717931

Longitude was dramatised for television by Charles Sturridge and Granada Film in 1999, and was shown in the US by A&E. Michael Gambon played John Harrison, and Jeremy Irons played Rupert Gould, who restored Harrison's timepieces for posterity in the mid-20th century.

Sobel made her first foray into teaching at the University of Chicago as the Vare Writer-in-Residence in the winter of 2006. She taught a one-quarter seminar on writing about science.


  1. ^ Sobel, Dava. "Self Portrait". Dava Sobel Author of Longitude. http://www.davasobel.com/about.php. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 

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