§ Mr. Bishop
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science for what period of years the position of Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and Astronomer Royal have been joint appointments held by the same person; and if she will name the present holder of these positions.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
The office of Astronomer Royal, although referred to differently in early Royal Warrants and other instruments, originated with the founding in 1675 of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Until last year the "Royal Astronomer at Greenwich" (later known as the Astronomer Royal) and the person in charge of the Royal Greenwich Observatory were one and the same. In July, 1971, the Queen approved that the two appointments should in future be regarded as separate. Sir Richard Woolley held both posts until his retirement as Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in January, 1972. The present Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory is Dr. Margaret Burbidge, FRS, whose appointment was announced by the Science Research Council in October, 1971. The present Astronomer Royal is Sir Martin Ryle FRS, whose appointment was announced in June, 1972.