AAS Press Releases
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AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY NAMES NEW DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY
Two high school students from Texas and Louisiana are the winners of the 2012 Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards for their astronomy projects presented at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May. The awards were presented on May 18 by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Fifteen members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are traveling to Washington, DC, April 24-25 to thank Congress for recent appropriations in the fiscal year 2013 spending bill and to express the need for continued federal funding of research and development (R&D) programs, which are critically important to American economic growth.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a statement thanking President Obama for his strong support of science as embodied in his proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 but asking him and the Congress to strive harder to maintain a balance of small, medium, and large space missions in astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, and solar physics. Some provisions of the President’s FY 2013 budget, especially a 20 percent cut in NASA’s planetary science funding, threaten to undermine the recommendations of recent decadal surveys of these fields by the National Academy of Sciences.
At its 219th semiannual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) presented a certificate of appreciation commemorating Dr. Frank Kameny’s lifetime efforts to secure equal employment rights for all. In 1957 Dr. Kameny, a Ph.D. astronomer and member of the AAS, was unjustly fired from his position with the U.S. government because he was gay. His subsequent efforts to advance the cause of gay rights included organizing some of the first public protests for homosexual rights in America, running as the first openly gay candidate for Congress, and writing the first petition to the Supreme Court to argue that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates constitutional civil-rights protections.
At its 219th semiannual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) named the recipients of its 2012 prizes for achievements in research, instrument development, education, and writing.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has named Frederic A. Rasio of Northwestern University as the next editor of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Rasio will succeed Christopher Sneden (University of Texas, Austin), who plans to retire from the position at the end of 2012 after 10 years of service.
Three members of the American Astronomical Society have been named recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that half of the SEK 10 million ($1.44 million) award will go to Saul Perlmutter (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & University of California, Berkeley) and half will be shared by Brian P. Schmidt (Australian National University) and Adam G. Riess (Johns Hopkins University & Space Telescope Science Institute). The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics is being given “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.”
Astronomy Education Review (AER), the online journal of astronomy and space-science education published by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), celebrated 10 years of promoting science literacy last week.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a strong statement protesting yesterday’s proposal from the House Appropriations Committee to cancel the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Hubble’s successor and the centerpiece of U.S. space astronomy for the next two decades. “The proposed cancellation of JWST is a bad idea,” says AAS Executive Officer Dr. Kevin B. Marvel. “Several billion dollars have already been spent developing new cutting-edge technology, and the last thing the American people want is for Congress to throw good money away. The U.S. will rightly be proud of the accomplishments of JWST, but first we need to finish it and launch it.”