Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Amy Hay

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Miller

Third Advisor

Dr. David DeVorkin


Otto Struve (1897-1963) came to the United States in 1921 and became one of the dominant personalities in the field of astrophysics. Struve’s career made him, in the words of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, a “first mover” in a scientific field that was firmly engaged in the process of what Thomas Kuhn called “normal science.” Struve pulled astrophysics further away from its empirical roots in categorization and made it more like physics in its unification of theory and observation. The primary way that he accomplished this was through his administration of Yerkes and McDonald observatories, where he brought in theorists to work directly with observers. He also helped to set barriers for entry into the field that emphasized greater knowledge of mathematics, physics, and theory. He also influenced the field through his editorship of The Astrophysical Journal, and through his own prolific publication of both scholarly and popular articles.


Copyright 2011 Erik Norquest. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American