Dr. Stephen Case, Olivet Nazarene University professor, releases new book on astronomy and history of science

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BOURBONNAIS, IL (10/25/2018) Researching and sharing about the astronomy of Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) - one of the most important scientists of the Victorian era - was a career-defining experience for Dr. Stephen Case of Olivet Nazarene University. At Olivet, Dr. Case is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, director of Strickler Planetarium on campus and assistant director of the Honors Program.

Making Stars Physical: The Astronomy of Sir John Herschel, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018, is the first ever book-length treatment about the historically significant contributions Herschel made to astronomy. Currently, there is no book-length biography about this scientist available.

"John Herschel was the pioneer of photography, among his numerous achievements," Dr. Case says. "He coined the terms snapshot and negative. As a scientist, he was the big name between Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton. In fact, Herschel is buried next to Darwin in London's Westminster Abbey."

Working with an academic press to publish his book challenged and grew Dr. Case as a writer. This work is an expanded version of the dissertation he wrote for completing his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. He successfully navigated the vetting, editing and publishing process. His first nonfiction book was published and released in spring 2018.

"Working with my editors and this publisher was a positive learning experience for me," Dr. Case says. "I'm really happy and really impressed with the quality of this book."

As Dr. Case moved through this process, he quickly realized that he was part of a communal endeavor. He expresses his thanks to the Olivet community for helping him research, write and publish this book. During a recent interview, he commented: "Any work of scholarship is a communal endeavor."

As a scholarly work, Making Stars Physical is ideal for anyone who's interested in astronomy and its history, libraries, upper level astronomy and history of science courses for students, and scholars. The book is currently available at Olivet's Hammes Bookstore in the Ludwig Center on campus, on Amazon.com and from the University of Pittsburgh Press.

"The Stars flourish, and in spite of all my attempts to thin them and … stuff them in my pockets, continue to afford a rich harvest."
John Herschel in a letter to James Calder Stewart
July 17, 1834

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 140 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet's 275-acre park-like main campus is in Bourbonnais, Illinois, 50 miles south of Chicago. Additional sites are in Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Grand Rapids and Grand Ledge, Michigan; Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year through study abroad opportunities, internships and worldwide mission trips.


More ONU news is available at Olivet.edu, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Licensed University photos and official logos available upon request.

Contact: Laura Warfel Public Relations Specialist Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 60914 www.olivet.edu 815-928-5403 lwwarfel@olivet.edu