Dr. Steven Beckwith
Beckwith is the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
at the University of California, starting January 1, 2008. He was educated
at Cornell University, graduating in Engineering Physics in 1973, and received
a doctorate degree in physics from Caltech in 1978. He returned to Cornell
in 1978 where he was a Professor of Astronomy for 13 years. In 1991, he
moved to Germany to become Director of the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie
in Heidelberg. In 1998, he returned to the United States to become the Director
of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where he
was responsible for the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope
until 2005, after which he was a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns
Hopkins University and a Distinguished Research Scientist at the Space Telescope
Dr. Catherine Cesarsky
Cesarsky, ESO Director General from 1999 till 2007, was born in France.
She received a degree in Physical Sciences at the University of Buenos
Aires and graduated with a PhD in Astronomy in 1971 from Harvard University
(Cambridge, Mass., USA). Afterwards she worked at the California Institute
of Technology (CALTECH).
In 1974, she became a staff member of the Service d'Astrophysique (SAp),
Direction des Sciences de la Matière (DSM), Commissariat à l'Energie
Atomique (CEA) (France). She led the theoretical group of the SAp (1978-1985),
was Head of SAp (1985-1993), and then Director of DSM (1994 - 1999), where
she was leading about 3000 scientists, engineers and technicians active
within a broad spectrum of basic research programmes in physics, chemistry,
astrophysics and earth sciences.
Dr. Cesarsky is known for her successful research activities in several
central areas of modern astrophysics. She first worked on the theory of
cosmic ray propagation and acceleration, and galactic gamma-ray emission.
Later, she led the design and construction of the ISOCAM camera onboard
the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) of the European
Space Agency (ESA),
and the ISOCAM Central Programme which studied the infrared emission from
many different galactic and extragalactic sources. This has led to new
and exciting results on star formation and galactic evolution, and in
the identification of the sources providing the bulk of the energy in
the Cosmic Infrared Background. Dr. Cesarsky is author of more than 250
Dr. Cesarsky received the COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) Space
Science Award in 1998. She is currently the President of the International
Astronomical Union and a member of the Academia Europaea, of the European
Academy of Sciences, and of the International
Academy of Astronautics.
She is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the
United States of America, a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy
of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London. She is
also "Officier de la Légion d'Honneur".
Trudy E. Bell
E. Bell (M.A., New York University, 1978) is a former
editor for Scientific American magazine, former senior editor for
IEEE Spectrum magazine, and former managing editor of the Journal
of the Antique Telescope Society. The author of a dozen books and 400+
magazine articles for both adults and middle-school students, her awards
include the American Astronomical Society’s David N. Schramm Award
for science writing (2006) and the Dudley Observatory’s Herbert
C. Pollock Award for support of research in history of astronomy
(2004, 2007). Ms. Bell is now a technical writer and editor for NITRD,
a $3.5-billion Federal program that coordinates high-end information-technology
and networking research and development for the U.S. government.
Dr. Chris Corbally, S.J.
Corbally is the Vice Director of the Vatican
Observatory for VORG.
He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in physics with honors at
Bristol University in 1971, his Masters of Science in astronomy at the
University of Sussex (Brighton) in 1972 and his doctorate in astronomy
at the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1983.
Dr. Richard Fienberg
Fienberg is the editor in chief of Sky & Telescope, the world’s
premier astronomy magazine, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has an
background,” having earned his B.A. in physics from Rice University
in 1978 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard in 1980 and 1985,
respectively. His thesis research took him to Arizona and Hawaii to capture
infrared images of planetary nebulae, active galaxies, and the center
of the Milky Way.
Rick joined Sky & Telescope’s editorial staff in 1986. He coordinated
the magazine’s coverage of astrophysics and space-science news for
several years, and in 1990 his reporting on the Hubble Space Telescope’s
star-crossed science mission won a citation from the National Space Club.
In 1991 he was named President/Publisher and “kicked upstairs” into
management. In October 2000 he returned to the editorial staff to assume
his new role.
Between covering developments in astronomy for Sky & Telescope, leading
astronomically themed tours, visiting observatories and other research
institutions, and speaking at professional conferences and amateur
star parties, Rick has set foot on all seven continents and stood at
the South Pole. During an expedition to observe the August 1, 2008,
total solar eclipse, he expects to reach the North Pole too.
Rick is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International
Astronomical Union (IAU), and in 2002 he was elected a Fellow of the
Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2003 the IAU named asteroid
9983 Rickfienberg in his honor.
Although trained as a professional astronomer, Rick remains an amateur
at heart. From his home just outside Boston he uses small telescopes
to observe the Sun, Moon, planets, and star clusters. On weekends he drives
100 miles north to the dark skies of southern New Hampshire, where
he observes galaxies and nebulae using a much larger telescope mounted
permanently in a roll-off-roof observatory that he built himself.
Dr. Wendy Freedman
Wendy Freeman is the Director of the Carnegie Institute Washington Observatories.
She holds a B.Sc., 1979, M.Sc., 1980, and Ph.D. (astronomy), 1984, University
Dr. Mark Giampapa
the Deputy Director for the National Solar Observatory with specific
responsibility for the Tucson/Kitt Peak program. He is an Adjunct
Astronomer at the University of Arizona. He also serves as a member
of the editorial board for New
Dr. Owen Gingerich
Gingerich is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History
of Science at Harvard University at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Professor Gingerich's research interests have ranged from the recomputation
of an ancient Babylonian mathematical table to the interpretation of stellar
spectra. He is a leading authority on the 17th-century German astronomer
Johannes Kepler and on Nicholas Copernicus, the 16th-century cosmologist
who proposed the heliocentric system. In recognition of these studies
he was awarded the Polish government's Order of Merit in 1981, subsequently
an asteroid was named in his honor, and most recently he has received
the Prix Janssen of the French Astronomical Society. An account of his
Copernican adventures, The Book Nobody Read, has now also been issued
in eight foreign editions.
Professor Gingerich has been vice president of the American Philosophical
Society (America's oldest scientific academy) and he has served as chairman
of the US National Committee of the International Astronomical Union.
A world traveler, he has successfully observed thirteen total solar eclipses.
Besides nearly 600 technical or educational articles and reviews, Professor
Gingerich has written more popularly on astronomy in several encyclopedias
and journals. Harvard University Press has published God’s Universe,
lectures given at Harvard’s Memorial Church. In 1984 he won the
Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa prize for excellence in teaching.
Dr. George Jacoby
Jacoby is the Director of the WIYN Observatory. He holds a BS. Degree
in Aeronautical Engineering, NYU and a Ph.D. in Astronomy, UCLA.
Jacoby's principal scientific interests are in the areas of chemical
evolution of galaxies and the extragalactic distance scale to derive the
age of the universe. He uses planetary nebulae (PN) to derive distances
to galaxies that are as accurate as Cepheids. He has demonstrated that
the chemical compositions of PN in other galaxies provide a way to measure
the rate at which different elements are enriched over the history of
that galaxy, a key factor in the opportunity for the development of life
over time. PN studies have provided material for many colloquia, public
lectures, and posters, in part, because of their visual appeal. Jacoby's
web site of PN images consistently has one of the highest hit rates among
NOAO web sites (see http://www.noao.edu/jacoby/pn_gallery.html)
With Mark Phillips at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, Jacoby has
been evaluating the magnitude of systematic errors in the supernova analysis
that led to the discovery of “dark energy”. With Robin Ciardullo
at Penn State, Jacoby has been measuring the location and mass of “dark
matter” in spiral and elliptical galaxies.
Jacoby devised the nova search component of the RBSE (Research Based
Science Education) educational outreach project, and its successor TLRBSE
(Teacher Leaders in …). These programs, operated by NOAO and funded,
in part, by NSF’s Education/Human Resources Directorate, distribute
original data to middle and high school students. Teachers receive 2-4
weeks of training to collect data, analyze it, and report their results.
Students have had greater success at finding novae than any previous researchers.
Many students win science fair projects annually. (see: http://www.noao.edu/outreach/rbse).
As the WIYN Director, Jacoby provides time on the WIYN 0.9m telescope
on each summer for REU and TLRBSE outreach projects.
Dr. Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Rolf-Peter Kudritzki has been the Director of the University of Hawaii
Institute for Astronomy since October 2000. Before moving to Hawaii Dr.
Kudritzki was for eighteen years Director of the Institute for Astronomy
und Astrophysics and Professor of Astronomy at the University of Munich.
He has also been Dean of the School of Physics at the University of Munich
and Scientific Member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics.
In addition to his administrative and teaching responsibilities, Dr.
Kudritzki has continued to pursue a career as an active researcher. He
has worked as a theorist in the field of radiative transfer and stellar
model atmospheres. He has used his theoretical tools to develop new spectral
diagnostic methods of stars and galaxies and applied these methods to
analyze infrared, optical, ultraviolet and X-ray spectra obtained with
large telescopes in space (such as Hubble, ROSAT, ISO) and on the ground.
He has also been actively involved in the development of new telescopes
and telescope instrumentation. In his most recent work he has started
to investigate the most luminous and most massive stars in distant galaxies
as a tool to understand the chemical evolution of galaxies and the history
of star formation. He has published more than 200 publications in refereed
journals and was invited frequently to give scientific review presentations
on international science conferences. He has supervised more than 30 Ph.D.
students, many of whom now hold professor positions themselves.
Dr. Kudritzki's research activities and international collaborations
have led to his participation and membership in a wide range of international
committees. During his time in Europe he was chair of the Advisory Committee
of European Southern Observatory, a joint organization of 12 European
countries operating the large European telescopes in Chile. For many years
he has been a member and chair of the advisory Visiting Committee for
the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute and he was chair of the Board
of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research and Astronomy
(AURA). AURA manages U. S. national observatories located in Arizona,
New Mexico and Chile; the two international Gemini observatories which
are located in Chile and Hawaii; and the Hubble Space Telescope Science
Institute. Most recently, Dr. Kudritzki served on the NASA Astrophysics
Program Assessment committee, which evaluated NASA’s astrophysics
program and submitted a report to Congress, and on a NSF committee, which
evaluated AUI, the organization which manages the national radio observatories
NRAO. He is also the chair of the National Science Working group for the
next generation Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope, the top priority of
the NAS decadal survey.
Dr. Seth Shostak
Seth is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View,
California. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University,
and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology.
For much of his career, Seth conducted radio astronomy research on galaxies,
and has published approximately sixty papers in professional journals.
Seth has written several hundred popular magazine and Web articles on
various topics in astronomy, technology, film and television. He lectures
on astronomy and other subjects at Stanford and other venues in the Bay
Area, and for the last six years, has been a Distinquished Speaker for
the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also Chair
of the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Study
Group. Every week he hosts the SETI Institute’s science radio show, “Are
We Alone?”, broadcast on Discovery Channel Radio.
Seth has edited and contributed to a half dozen books. He has also been
the principal author of three. “Sharing the Universe: Perspectives
on Extraterrestrial Life” appeared in March, 1998. His most recent
books are “Life in the Universe” (2006, textbook with Jeff
Bennett) and “Cosmic Company” (2003, with Alex Barnett).
Dr. Alex Filippenko
Filippenko received his BA in Physics from UC Santa Barbara in 1979
and his PhD in Astronomy from Caltech in 1984. After a two-year Miller
Fellowship at UC Berkeley, he joined the Berkeley faculty in 1986.
observational astronomer, he makes frequent use of the 10-meter Keck
telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other observatories. His
areas of research are supernovae (exploding stars), active galaxies,
holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the universe. His research
accomplishments, documented in over 520 published articles, have been
recognized by several major prizes including the Richtmyer Memorial
(2007), and he is one of the world's most highly cited astronomers.
He was a
member of both teams that discovered the accelerating expansion of
Universe, propelled by mysterious "dark energy." This was voted
"Science Breakthrough of 1998" by Science magazine, and the
teams received the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their discovery.
Filippenko has won the highest teaching awards at UC Berkeley and has
voted the "Best Professor" on campus five times. In 2006, he
was selected as
the Carnegie/CASE Doctoral and Research Universities National Professor
of the Year. He has appeared in many TV documentaries, including "Stephen
Hawking's Universe," "Runaway Universe," "Exploring
Time," and (most recently) "The Universe." Having given
roughly 500 popular talks to a very wide range of audiences, he is
in much demand as a speaker. He has produced three astronomy video
courses with The Teaching Company, including a 96-lecture series in
2007,and in 2001 he coauthored an award-winning textbook, now in its thirdedition.
He is the recipient of the 2004 Carl Sagan Prize for Science
Mike earned a BA and MA in Physical Science/Astronomy from San Francisco
State University. In the 1970s, while serving as Director of Education
for Spitz Planetariums, Inc, he developed some of the early planetarium-based
astronomy laboratory activities, and also created Spitz’s planetarium
educators training program and publications.
In the late 70’s Mike transitioned into the computer industry,
managing advertising and marketing communications departments for several
Silicon Valley companies. During that time he maintained his connection
to the astronomy education world by teaching introductory astronomy at
local community colleges. Returning full-time to the world of science
education in the mid-nineties, Mike soon became associated with the ASP
and was eventually appointed ASP Executive Director in 2001. As ED, Mike
was responsible for managing all aspects of the Society’s operations
and helped to guide the ASP toward even greater involvement in astronomy
education programs nationwide. He retired in 2007.
Mike continues to be active in science education by serving as a consultant
and advisor on several NSF and NASA-funded projects. He has also been
named Inquiry Leader—Professional Development for the new Center
for Advancement of Informal Science Education, managed for NSF by the
Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).