Edward C. Pickering: The Seventh Bruce Medalist

In 1875 the directorship of the Harvard College Observatory was offered to Simon Newcomb, the man widely considered to be the United States' leading astronomer. Newcomb declined the offer; one reason, he wrote in his autobiography years later, was the Observatory was "poor in means, meagre in instrumental outfit, and wanting in working assistants; I think the latter did not number more than three or four, with perhaps a few other temporary employees. There seemed little prospect of doing much."