Scientific Reminiscences

Reminiscence of my Sixty-five year Voyage in Astronomy

Shou-Guan Wang


Abstract I returned to China from the United Kingdom in 1953, then worked in Purple Mountain Observatory. It was the early days of new China. The elder generation of astronomers was undertaking an effort of “repairing broken and filling defect” during those post-war years, and started planning and laying the foundation of modern astronomy. Under their leadership, I started a journey of astronomy whose main task was construction. The journey has been full of twists and turns. As a result of the “Great Leap Forward” in 1958 and the 1966 launch of the decade-long “Cultural Revolution” period, the situation of construction in astronomy was similar to that in other sciences, suffering bad effects. Not until the “Reform and Opening up” period after those events was construction able to continue, and various disciplines and international connections began to open. A “passage” had gradually developed. In this new circumstance, I kept pursuing the pioneers to explore a forward direction. Looking back today, this journey has been three periods of a four generation relay. This article is divided into three sections that describe my research work in these times that I recall: (1) Looking back at the beginning of the return and tracing the footprints of the founders. (2) Recalling my radio astronomy tour. (3) Retrospection and expectation of LAMOST.


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