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The Van Biesbroeck Prize is normally awarded every two years and honors a living individual for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy, often beyond the requirements of his or her paid position. The AAS assumed responsibility for the prize in 1997.

Self-nominations are allowed. Nominations are due 30 June the year preceding the award.

Donate to the George Van Biesbroeck Prize Fund

Nomination Checklist

George Van Biesbroeck Prize Committee

Photo of Debra Elmegreen2018 – Debra Meloy Elmegreen
For her unselfish service to astronomy on regional, national, and international scales, including strengthening public appreciation and support for astronomy, making our community more diverse and inclusive, and acting as a role model and mentor to generations of young astronomers.
Photo of Michael Hauser2014 – Michael Hauser
For strategic vision that guided first his early career involvement in the IR space missions when he established and led the IR group at Goddard, and later his role as the STScI deputy director playing a key part in turning STScI into a multi-mission institution.
Photo of C. Megan Urry2012 – C. Megan Urry
For her tireless efforts to enhance the participation of women in astronomy and other scientific disciplines, through the organization of meetings, written works, lectures and effective mentoring, done outside and in addition to her work as a scientist.
Photo of David S. Leckrone2011 – David S. Leckrone
For three decades of selfless dedication to the instrumenting, servicing, and science programs of the Hubble Space Telescope, through informed advocacy, technical management, and outreach to diverse constituencies in education, government, the science community and the general public.
Year Recipient(s) Citation
2010 Virginia Trimble For her many years of dedicated service to the national and international communities of astronomers, including her expert assessments of progress in all fields of astrophysics and her significant roles in supporting organizations, boards, committees and foundations in the cause of astronomy.
2009 Father George V. Coyne For the diversity and scientific richness he has brought to the astronomical community through his visionary leadership of the Vatican Observatory Summer School (VOSS) and its long-term mentoring program, and for the unique role he has played at the juncture of science and religion.
2008 Peter Stetson For his life-long efforts to enable, counsel, and help others do effective research wit the tools that he has developed, specifically the DAOPHOT family of reduction programs for the analysis of astronomical images.
2007 Stephen P. Maran For his outstanding and unselfish long-term contribution to the astronomical community as Press Officer for the American Astronomical Society.
2005 Eric Greisen For the initiation, development, and maintenance for twenty-five years of the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS).
2004 Rodger Doxsey For his outstanding, unselfish dedication to making HST one of the most scientifically productive telescopes of all time.
2003 Donat G. Wentzel For outstanding and sustained contributions during three decades to astronomy education in this country.
2002 Victor M. Blanco For outstanding service in building the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and in leading its scientific, technical and support staff.
2001 Michael J. Kurtz For being the visionary designer of the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) which clearly has revolutionized for over a decade the speed and thoroughness in which astronomers now can search and access the vast and still growing technical literature.
2000 D. Harold McNamara
1999 Barry M. Lasker
1998 Frank J. Lovas
1997 Helmut A. Abt
Awarded by Van Biesbroeck Award, Inc.
1996 Dave Crawford
1995 Arlo U. Landolt
1994 Wayne H. Warren, Jr.
1993 Janet Mattei
1992 Bob Kurucz
1991 Barry Clark
1990 Aden Meinel
1989 Brian Marsden
1988 Dorrit Hoffleit
1987 No award given
1986 John Hill
1985 Mark Giampapa
1984 John Stocke
1983 No award given
1982 Erick Young
1981 Marc Aaronson, Jeremy Mould
1980 Marcia Rieke
1979 Scott Davis