2007 ASP Annual Award Recipients
President, You Can Do Astronomy, LLC, Planetarium Operations Coordinator, Boston Museum of Science
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is proud to give the 2007 Klumpke-Roberts Award for contributing to the public understanding of astronomy to Noreen Grice.
Noreen Grice has a deep commitment to making astronomy accessible to people with disabilities, and unique creative talents to apply to the task. She is best known as the author of the book, Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy that couples Hubble Space Telescope images with Braille, tactile imagery, and large print format to bring the wonder of new astronomical discoveries to an audience previously excluded from participating. Writing on the back of the book, radio astronomer Dr. Kent Cullers, Director of Research and Development at the SETI Institute, who is blind, wrote “When I touch the tactile image of the Hubble Northern Deep Field of galaxies in Touch the Universe, I am overwhelmed by the same astonishment, a sensory connection with the distant cosmos. It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well for the first time in my career, I get the picture.” Her other titles include The Little Moon Phase Book, Touch the Sun, and a series of four Touch the Stars books.
Besides writing groundbreaking books, Ms. Grice is a pioneer in making the planetarium environment welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities. She edits "How to Make Planetariums More Accommodating and Accessible to Visitors with Disabilities" for the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. She works directly with the public to engage children in learning about astronomy by teaching to blind and visually impaired youth in programs sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and NASA. A tactile variable star lab that she created enabled students to do their research projects. As President of You Can Do Astronomy, she continues to lead efforts to bring the joy of astronomy to new audiences.