Royal Astronomical Society Awards Donald E. Osterbrock Gold Medal
April 17, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Author: Robert Irion
UCSC Public Information Office
SANTA CRUZ, CA: Great Britains Royal Astronomical Society has awarded the 1997 Gold Medal, its highest honor, to Donald Osterbrock, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and astronomer emeritus at UC Observatories/Lick Observatory. The award recognizes Osterbrocks lifetime achievement in the field of astronomy.
The society bestows its Gold Medal for outstanding research in astronomy and for leadership within the astronomical community. Given yearly, it was first awarded in 1824. Past recipients include John Herschel, Arthur Eddington, Albert Einstein, Fred Hoyle, and Stephen Hawking. Five former Lick Observatory astronomers received the medal, the last in 1938.
Osterbrocks research has made influential contributions to the body of knowledge on interstellar matter, gaseous nebulae, and the nuclei of active galaxies. His books on the subjects are standards in the field. Osterbrock also has published several books on the history of American astronomy. His most recent is Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950: The Birth, Near Death, and Resurrection of a Scientific Research Institution (University of Chicago Press, 1997).
Osterbrock came to UCSC in 1973 and served as director of Lick Observatory from then to 1981. Before joining UCSCs faculty, he was affiliated with Princeton University, Caltech, and the University of Wisconsin.
Osterbrock is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and numerous professional organizations. He also is a foreign associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. He holds honorary doctorates from Ohio State University and the University of Chicago. The American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have both lauded Osterbrocks career with their lifetime achievement awards, two of astronomys highest honors.
The Royal Astronomical Societys aims are the encouragement and promotion of astronomy and geophysics. It was founded in 1820. Editors Notes:
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