Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award

The Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award is for astronomy writing for an academic audience, specifically textbooks at either the upper-division undergraduate or graduate level.

The motivation for this choice is the fact that introductory textbooks and popular astronomy books have large markets and a number of existing modes of recognition and reward. Books serving astronomy majors and graduate students, by contrast, have relatively small markets, and excellence in this area is rarely recognized. Nonetheless, such books serve a vital role in professional development.

Books suitable for this award must be currently available in North America. A single gold medal will be given, and if the winning book has multiple authors, the $1,000 monetary award will be divided, and multiple certificates will be issued.

Self-nominations are allowed. Prize nominations are due by 30 June each year.

Nomination Checklist

Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award Committee

2020 - Thomas Burbine

For his undergraduate textbook "Asteroids: Astronomical and Geological Bodies" (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

2019 – David Branch and J. Craig Wheeler

For their scholarly book "Supernova Explosions" (Springer, 2017).

2013 – George Rieke

For his graduate textbook "Measuring the Universe: A Multiwavelength Perspective" (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

2018 – Kevin Heng

For his pioneering graduate textbook "Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Theoretical Concepts and Foundations" (Princeton University Press, 2017).

2012 – Abraham (Avi) Loeb

For his lively, but concise account, "How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form?" (Princeton University Press 2010).

2011 – Caleb A. Scharf

For his groundbreaking textbook “Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology” (University Science Books, 2009).

2010 – Hale Bradt

For his upper level undergraduate/graduate astronomy textbook, “Astrophysics Processes.”
Year Recipient(s) Citation
2009 Dan Maoz For his textbook "Astrophysics in a Nutshell," which provides a wide-ranging treatment of topics from stellar structure to cosmology, this advanced undergraduate text explains crucial physics with sufficient depth to capture students' curiosity without getting lost in detail.
2008 Linda S. Sparke & John S. Gallagher For their textbook “Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction," which has been widely adopted in many upper division undergraduate and graduate courses. It serves as an excellent foundation and introduction for new researchers, providing background for, and synthesis of, the many diverse topics necessary to understand galaxies: stellar structure and evolution, the interstellar medium, radiative transfer, gravitational dynamics and gas dynamics.
2007 Imke De Pater & Jack Lissauer For their book, “Planetary Astrophysics," an ambitious text, which surveys the entire field of planetary astronomy, at the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level. In the words of one nominating letter, it “has rapidly become the standard text for teachers of planetary sciences."
2006 Barbara Ryden