6 May 2024

George Van Biesbroeck Prize

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.

Eligibility: Unrestricted.

•    Length of service -- nominee engaged for many years in serving the astronomical community.
•    Service exceeded the requirements of the nominee’s paid position.
•    Impact – their service benefited a significant part of the astronomical community.

Self-nominations are allowed. Nominations are due on 30 June*. (*Nominations will not be accepted in 2024.)

View Nomination Checklist View Ethics Self-Disclosure Form

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George Van Biesbroeck Prize Committee

2024 - Frederick Seward

For the establishment and implementation of the first open, peer-reviewed Guest Observer program for a Principal-Investigator-led NASA space-based observatory.

2022 - Donald York

For exceptional vision in the conception and design of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a major imaging and spectroscopic survey that has created the most detailed three-dimensional maps of the universe ever made.

2020 – Roc Cutri

For his long-standing and selfless service and support for ground- and space-based infrared astronomy, including his leadership, development, and management of public data products.

2018 – 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 genera

2016 – Richard (Rick) A. Perley

For his tireless and unrelenting career-long service to the global astronomical community, and the dedication of his unparalleled expertise in radio interferometry to the design, commissioning, and optimization of the world’s premier radio telescope, the

2014 – 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 inst
Meg Urry

2012 – 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.

2011 – 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 com
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.

Year Recipient(s)
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