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Professor Fred Watson

Professor Fred Watson is Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large, an outreach and advocacy role within the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

He is a graduate of the universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh and worked at both of Britain’s Royal Observatories before joining the Australian Astronomical Observatory as Astronomer-in-Charge in 1995. 

Recognised internationally for helping to pioneer the use of fibre optics in astronomy during the 1980s, Fred is best known today for his award-winning radio and TV broadcasts, books, music, dark-sky advocacy and co-hosting the Space Nuts podcast with Andrew Dunkley.

He holds adjunct professorships in several Australian universities and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010.

He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault.

Fred's latest book, Exploding Stars and Invisible Planets, was published by Columbia University Press in January 2020.    

 

Andrew Dunkley

Andrew has been a radio broadcaster/journalist since 1984.

He has worked for several Australian radio stations including the ABC (22 years) and these days co-hosts the Space Nuts podcast with Professor Fred Watson discussing astronomy.

He is still in radio too, working part-time on community radio DCFM 88.9 and has a job with the Salvation Army as well.

His writing started later in life and was prompted by what he learned about his Grandfather's service in WW1, which lead to the publishing of All I See Is Mud. That was followed by a golf book called 5 Irons Don't Float as well as two sci-fi novels, Parallax and The Terranian Enigma.

Andrew lives in Dubbo NSW Australia; is married to Judy with three grown children and is now a Grandfather.

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