Dr. William Harris

Dr. William Harris

Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University

I happily grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, and went from there to Toronto to do graduate studies, finishing in 1974. There I also met and married Gretchen. In 1978 our twin daughters were born; both of them now live and work in Toronto.

I joined the faculty at McMaster in 1976, helping to start what is now a well regarded program of research and teaching in astrophysics.  My own research work is on the oldest stars in galaxies, as a route towards learning about how galaxies grew and evolved in the first billion years or two of the universe’s history.  I formally retired in 2014 but continue to be engaged in research with colleagues around the world.  I was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2004, and received an honorary doctorate from McMaster this spring.  As a teacher I very much enjoyed taking part in multidisciplinary settings like our Arts and Science Program.  If I hadn’t been an astronomer, my second choice might well have been history.


ID Event Name Duration Start Date
Galileo, Shakespeare, van Gogh: Creative Reactions to the End of the World Full Day February 28, 2019

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