The AAS is pleased to announce that the Society’s first Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy is being awarded to William J. Borucki and David G. Koch for leading the successful Kepler space mission, which is discovering new exoplanets while making major advancements in the search for terrestrial planets around other stars. Borucki and Koch, both at NASA’s Ames Research Center, are PI and deputy PI, respectively, of the Kepler mission. They’ll share $8,000 in prize money and have their expenses covered for travel to the 217th AAS meeting in Seattle, where they will jointly present the Lancelot Berkeley Prize Lecture on Thursday, 13 January 2011. This prestigious new AAS prize was established in 2010 by the New York Community Trust, which administers the estate of Lancelot Berkeley, a New York lawyer and astronomy enthusiast. Nominations were evaluated by a committee of the three AAS vice-presidents and the editors in chief of the ApJ and AJ The judges reported a “unanimous, wholehearted recommendation” that the inaugural Lancelot Berkeley Prize be awarded to Bill Borucki and Dave Koch “for the discovery of new worlds and for taking a major step in determining the extent of life in our galaxy.”
Please join the AAS Council and us in congratulating Bill and Dave for their much-deserved honor!