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.”
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), presented the annual Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards to two high-school students at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held May 8 to 13 in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Maran is an astronomer and science writer with decades of experience in the space program. The author or editor of 12 books and more than 100 popular articles on astronomy and space exploration, and many more scientific publications, he retired from NASA on October 1, 2004, after more than 35 years with the agency. On August 31, 2009, he retired after 25 years (most of them overlapping with his NASA service) as AAS press officer.
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