2008 ASP Annual Award Recipients
East Hampton, New York
This year the ASP presents the Klumpke-Roberts Award for outstanding contributions to public understanding and appreciation of astronomy to Dava Sobel, whose successful and highly regarded books on astronomical themes and figures have drawn worldwide acclaim.
Galileo's Daughter explores the context in which Galileo made and defended the crucial astronomical observations that we celebrate in the upcoming International Year of Astronomy. Longitude (the basis for one of her PBS NOVA shows) shows how the problem of determining longitude at sea was solved — not by astronomers but by clock-makers. Other books include Is Anyone Out There? (with Frank Drake), Letters to Father, and The Planets. She has written about science for numerous magazines including Audubon, Discover, and The New Yorker, and previously worked the science beat for The New York Times.
In 2006, Dava was the Robert Vare Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. She received the 2001 Public Service Award of the National Science Board for fostering public awareness of science. She is now at work on a play about Copernicus, and her third PBS program is in the works.
The popularity of her books (coupled with the strong reviews they have received from historians and critics), and her generosity in sharing her knowledge and craft with colleagues and the public, make Dava Sobel eminently qualified to join the long list of astronomy popularizers who have won this award.