19 August 2019

More Birthdays Needed for the AAS Wall Calendar

Rick Fienberg, AAS Press Officer

AAS Wall CalendarLast month we explained why all but one of the astronomers whose birthdays are noted in the 2019 AAS Wall Calendar are white men and invited AAS members to help us address this lack of gender and racial balance for future editions. Oddly, despite a flurry of comments on social media, we received very few recommendations for female astronomers and astronomers of color whose birthdays should be noted on the calendar. Accordingly, we're asking again.

The rules are simple: Whereas past celebrants were AAS Presidents and/or Henry Norris Russell lecturers, we will henceforth commemorate as many historically noteworthy AAS members as we have room for, regardless of whether they served as Society officers, were honored with prizes, or were otherwise celebrated during their lifetimes. The only restrictions are that they must be deceased and they must have been AAS members or patrons. (Many people prefer not to advertise their birthday and/or reveal their age, so we're not going to include people who are still with us so as to avoid embarrassing anyone.)

We have already added the following people to our list:

  • Claudia Alexander
  • Beth A. Brown
  • Annie Jump Cannon
  • Franklin E. Kameny
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt
  • Janet Akyuz Mattei
  • Maria Mitchell
  • Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
  • Paris Marie Pismis
  • Mercedes T. Richards
  • Nancy Roman
  • Vera Rubin
  • Beatrice M. Tinsley

Also on the list are honorary members and patrons who are no longer with us. Who else's birthdays should be celebrated on the AAS Wall Calendar? Please send us your suggestions!

We've created a short webform to collect your input. There's no hard deadline, but since we'll begin working on the 2020 calendar before summer's end, you should fill out the form by September 1st if you want your recommendations considered for the upcoming edition.

Submit Your Input on the AAS Wall Calendar

Since the AAS Wall Calendar is a member benefit, we ask that you sign in using your member credentials to fill out the form (if you need help remembering your ID and/or password, contact our membership team by email or by calling 202-328-2010 x106). The form doesn't collect or report any identifying information, so your responses will be anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself.