Professor Alice Vibert Douglas MBE OC

Professor Alice Vibert Douglas (who commonly went by her middle name, Vibert) was a Canadian astronomer, author and teacher.

The first Canadian woman to become an astrophysicist, she was recognised by the National Council of Jewish Women as one of 10 Women of the Century. She worked as a statistician during World War I, for which she was honoured with the Order of the British Empire at the age of 23.

Professor Douglas was dean of women at Queen’s University for 20 years, and worked as a professor for most of her career. She also served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society, was the first Canadian president of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), and was the Canadian representative at the 1954 UNESCO conference in Montevideo. Professor Douglas authored an acclaimed biography on Sir Arthur Eddington – a leading astronomer whom she studied under at Cambridge – which was published in 1956. In 1965 she travelled to Brisbane for the IFUW XV Triennial Conference, where she received a Doctor of Science honoris causa from the University. In 1967 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Professor Douglas passed away in 1988. The same year, asteroid 3269 was renamed “Vibert-Douglas” in her honour. In 2003 a patera (an irregular or complex crater) on Venus was also named after her.


Doctor of Science honoris causa