Alice Douglas

(1894-1988) Professor of Astronomy and Dean of Women at Queen's University (1939-63). She studied Physics under Sir Arthur Eddington and later wrote his biography. President of the Society (1943-44) and founder of the RASC Kingston Centre in 1961.

A.V. Douglas in 1978ALLIE VIBERT DOUGLAS (1894-1988) was the first woman to be President of the RASC (1943-44), but this was only one of many distinctions she held. She was made a Member of the British Empire in 1918 for her work with the War Office in London, England, received honorary degrees from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and from the University of Queensland, Australia, was President of the International Federation of University Women, and was selected in 1967 by the National Council of Jewish Women as the "Woman of the Century" for Ontario.

Allie Douglas (as she was known in her youth and to her closest friends) began her illustrious career in Montreal. She received her B.A. and M.Sc. degrees from McGill and in 1921 went to Cambridge, where she studied Physics under Sir Arthur Eddington. (Many years later she wrote his biography.) She then returned to McGill where she lectured in Physics and Astrophysics and earned her Ph.D. in 1925. In 1939 she was appointed Dean of Women at Queen's University, a position she held for twenty years. For much of this time, and until 1963, Dr. Douglas was also Professor of Astronomy at Queen's and published many papers in international scientific journals and general periodicals.

Within the RASC, first in Montreal over a period of fifteen years, she was at various times Recorder, Secretary, or Treasurer, and she addressed the Centre nearly every year as well as speaking a number of times to the Ottawa Centre. After moving to Kingston and holding the Presidential national offices, Dr. Douglas became the motive force in the formation of the Kingston Centre and was their Honorary President for many years. She contributed a long list of interesting papers to the Journal, many relating to the history of astronomy. She received the RASC Service Award in 1963.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading


Above: Professor J.E. Kennedy talks about A. Vibert Douglas.
Douglas, Alice V.