The AAS vice-presidents name a special invited lecturer to kick off each AAS meeting with a presentation on recent research of great importance. The Kavli Foundation's generous support covers the lecturer's travel expenses and as well as promotional expenses.
June 2016, San Diego, CA
"LIGO Detection of Gravitational Waves"
For the outstanding scientific work of the LIGO collaboration, which led to the first detection of Gravitational Waves, opening a new frontier in the understanding and exploration of the Universe.
January 2016, Kissimmee, FL
S. Alan Stern
"The Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons"
For his outstanding and innovative leadership over the past two decades in designing and executing, as Principal Investigator, the New Horizons flyby mission to Pluto. This mission has provided a revolutionary new view of the Pluto-Charon system that will fundamentally alter our understanding of dwarf worlds in the outer solar system, and challenge our basic assumptions about planetary geology and evolution, thereby reshaping our understanding of our own solar system.
January 2015, Seattle, WA
"New Results About the Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts"
For his outstanding scientific work with the Van Allen Probes mission, which has provided a new and deeper understanding of the structure and dynamics of MeV particles in the radiation belts surrounding the Earth, including the discovery of a new third relativistic electron storage ring in the outer Van Allen belt.
June 2014, Boston, MA
"New Probes of Dark Energy"
For his many contributions to cosmology, especially his work on dark energy and dark matter.
January 2014, Washington, DC
"The Hubble Deep Field and Its Legacy"
For his strong scientific leadership as Director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, and President of the International Astronomical Union, an example of which is his instigation and leadership of the Hubble Deep Field project, which has provided us with an exquisite view of the early universe and a deeper understanding of very young galaxies.
June 2013, Indianapolis, IN
"The Search for Habitable World"
For his pioneering work in the search for habitable worlds, including instigation of the HARPS-N Collaboration that can coordinate spectroscopy with transit photometry in the Kepler field, analysis of current Kepler data, and plans for rocky planet searches and spectroscopy of exoplanet atmospheres.
|221st Meeting - January 2013
Long Beach, CA
|B. Thomas Soifer||"The Spitzer Space Telescope: Science Return and Impact"||For his outstanding leadership of the Spitzer Mission that advanced the field of infrared astronomy, enabling new phenomena and major discoveries about galaxies, star formation regions, planet-forming disks, exoplanets, and the history of the universe.|
|220th Meeting - June 2012
|Ewine F. van Dishoeck||"Laboratory Astrophysics as Key to Understanding the Universe"||For her outstanding research in observational, laboratory, and theoretical astrochemistry, her unflagging efforts to raise awareness of the importance of astrochemistry in the astronomical, physical, and chemical communities, and her development of an outstanding department at the University of Leiden in the field of molecular astronomy.|
|219th Meeting - January 2012
|Lyman A. Page||"The CMB and Neutrinos"||For his leadership role as instrument scientist on WMAP whose accurate measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background constrained fundamental cosmological parameters, including the geometry, age and composition of the Universe, opening the era of precision cosmology.|
|218th Meeting - May 2011
|Malcolm Longair||"The 2050 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics"||For his pioneering work on the cosmic evolution of powerful radio galaxies and their environments, for his leadership roles including Astronomer Royal of Scotland, Director of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, and Head of the Cavendish Laboratory, and for his exemplary expositions of science through both books and visionary lectures.|
|217th Meeting - January 2011
|Carolyn C. Porco||"Cassini Eyes the Rings of Saturn"||For pioneering in the study of planetary ring systems and leeading the imaging science team on the Cassini mission. She and her team have provided a more complete understanding of the atmosphere, satellites and rings of Jupiter and have revealed the detailed structure, composition, and evolutionary history of Saturn's rings, while also discovering seven new moons, a hydrocarbon lake on Titan, and water vapor plumes on the moon Enceladus.|