Williams Professor Wins Award Astronomy Research and Education
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College astronomy professor Jay Pasachoff has received the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Klumpke-Roberts Award.
The award is given to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.
Pasachoff’s passion and dedication to the field of astronomy goes beyond his main role as professor and researcher, touching numerous people across all generations. He wrote, in the Peterson Field Guide series, the popular "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets," now in the 17th printing of its 4th edition; is lead author of "The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium," now in its 5th edition; is coauthor with an art historian of "Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe," a new book on the intersection of art and astronomy; and hundreds of articles, textbooks, and conference series contributions, instilling a love of astronomy to laypersons and students all over the world.
His solar-eclipse expeditions, including 35 total eclipses, and primary research in solar eclipses, has led to not only scientific articles but also popular articles in National Geographic, Scientific American, and elsewhere, as well as media appearances before and after the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse in the United States. As one nominator praised after the eclipse: "It is during these moments that Jay becomes astronomy's cheerleader-in-chief, allowing more and more people to become interested and engaged in the field."
Pasachoff's leadership roles served within the profession have brought him distinction and acknowledgment as one of only 15 honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society. He has also received the 2017 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the 2012 Prix-Jules-Janssen of the Société Astronomique de France. He is acknowledged as having inspired future writers and astronomers, sometimes turning nonscientists into professional astronomical lives of significance. His exuberance for sharing his passion of the universe has created many passionate astronomers.
His research on the sun is currently supported by a grant from the Solar Terrestrial Program of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation. He has also held National Geographic and NASA research grants.
One nominator summed up how "Jay Pasachoff has devoted his entire career to fathoming the universe while bringing all of us along with him in the endeavor. For more than a half a century, he has investigated, communicated, and educated – and done so with success, humility, and humor."
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