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Skeptic David Morrison Receives AAS Education Prize

Jan. 23, 2015 by | Comments Off on Skeptic David Morrison Receives AAS Education Prize
David Morrison. Image courtesy NASA Ames Research Center

David Morrison. Image courtesy NASA Ames Research Center

Many congratulations are due to astronomer and skeptic David Morrison, named as the recipient of the 2015 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) at their 225th semiannual meeting held January 4–8, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The AAS is North America’s major organization of professional astronomers.

Dr. Morrison serves as director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute, and as an Advisory Council member for the National Center for Science Education. For decades, Morrison has additionally served the public as a skeptical activist on topics relating to the intersection of pseudoscience and astronomy, such as the “Velikovsky Affair” (see Junior Skeptic #49) and the 2012 “end of the world” hysteria. His Skeptic magazine cover story on that latter doomsday topic, “A NASA Scientist Answers the Top 20 Questions About 2012,” may be read for free here at Skeptic.com in English, Spanish, and Italian. His discussion of Carl Sagan’s work in scientific skepticism appeared in Skeptic Vol. 7, No. 4, and may likewise be read here for free, as may his reflection on Sagan’s “uneasy alliance” with Edward Teller.

Dr. Morrison’s recent award is described in a AAS press release, which is brought to our attention via the NCSE:

The AAS Education Prize goes to David Morrison (SETI Institute & NASA Ames Research Center) for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the understanding of astronomy by college students and the public and to the debunking of astronomical pseudoscience through his textbooks, popular books, slide sets, websites, articles, public talks, and work with the media. As the primary spokesperson for the scientific response to public fears of a doomsday on 21 December 2012, Morrison exemplified the dedication of scientists who devote themselves to sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with the public while maintaining the highest standards of technical accuracy.

Daniel Loxton

Daniel Loxton is the Editor of INSIGHT at Skeptic.com and of Junior Skeptic, the 10-page kids’ science section bound within Skeptic magazine. Daniel has been an avid follower of the paranormal literature since childhood, and of the skeptical literature since his youth. He is also an award-winning author. Read Daniel’s full bio or his other posts on this blog.

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