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ASP Updates the Status of 2020 Awards for Research and Education



The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) announces changes for its 2020 Annual Awards and Gala

SAN FRANCISCO, California – April 27, 2020  Celebrating the accomplishments of the astronomical community is an important part of our mission and something the ASP has been proud to host since 1898.  

We wanted to let you know about a very tough decision we have been forced to make given COVID-19 and the current state of the nation. As the pandemic deepens and broadens, we have decided not to give out ASP Awards in 2020 and not to hold our annual Gala in celebration. This decision was made in consultation with the ASP staff and the Board Executive Committee. 

A number of factors influenced this decision, including the many unknowns about travel and quarantine for the rest of the year, the increased burden placed on staff who are working from home and caring for children, our desire to give our recipients the honors and celebratory event they fully deserve, and to acknowledge and be respectful of the somber days we are in and those to come. 

All the nominations made this year will remain in the pool for the 2021 ASP Awards. We have reached out to our nominators and let them know that we are treating 2020 as if it never happened, so their nominees will not lose a year of eligibility because this year’s awards were canceled. 

We wish you and your family good health.  Keep looking up.

About the ASP

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), established in 1889, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to use astronomy to increase the understanding and appreciation of science and to advance science and science literacy. The ASP connects scientists, educators, amateur astronomers and the public together to learn about astronomical research, improve astronomy education, and share resources that engage learners of all kinds in the excitement and adventure of scientific discovery. Current ASP programs and initiatives support college faculty, K-12 science teachers, amateur astronomy clubs, science museums, libraries, park rangers, and girl scouts to name a few.

Through its annual awards, ASP recognizes achievement in research, technology, education, and public outreach. The awards include the ASP’s highest honor, the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal awarded since 1898 for a lifetime of outstanding research in astronomy. The Bruce Medal has gone to some of the greatest astronomers of the past century, including Arthur Eddington, Edwin P. Hubble, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, and Vera Rubin. The ASP also presents the Klumpke-Roberts Award for outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Awardees include Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and the Hubble Heritage Project.

More information about the ASP’s awards and past recipients can be found at 

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        Contact:  Linda Shore

                        Chief Executive Officer

                        Astronomical Society of the Pacific

                        390 Ashton Avenue

                        San Francisco, CA 94112