Steven J. Dick
|Steven J. Dick|
|Born||October 24, 1949
History of Science
|Institutions||U.S. Naval Observatory
|Alma mater||Indiana University|
Steven J. Dick (b. October 24, 1949, Evansville, Indiana) is an American astronomer, author and historian of science most noted for his work in the field of astrobiology. Dick served as the Chief Historian for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 2003 to 2009. Before that he was an astronomer and historian of science at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, from 1979 to 2003.
Steven J. Dick received a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics from Indiana University in 1971. In 1977, he obtained a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science. For 24 years, Dick worked as an astronomer and historian of science for United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., including three years at the Naval Observatory's Southern Hemisphere station in New Zealand. In 2003, he was named the Chief Historian for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
During his years at NASA, Dick edited numerous volumes on the societal impact of space flight and on the occasion of the 50th anniversaries of NASA and the space age. Dick also received the NASA Group Achievement Award "for initiating the new NASA multidisciplinary program in astrobiology, including the definition of the field of astrobiology, the formulation and initial establishment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and the development of a Roadmap to guide future NASA investments in astrobiology." Dick's published work in the field of astrobiology includes Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1982); The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1996); Life on Other Worlds: The 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate (1998), and, with James Strick, The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (2005). He has also surveyed the field in "Critical Issues in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Astrobiology" (Astrobiology, Vol. 12, No. 10, 2012). On December 4, 2013, he testified on astrobiology before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Dick served as Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society (1993–1994), as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union (1997-2000) and as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is on the editorial board for the Journal for the History of Astronomy and the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage. From 2011-2012 he held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air & Space Museum. In 2013 Dick was named the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.
Dick is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. In 2006, Dick received the LeRoy E. Doggett Prize from the American Astronomical Society for a career that has significantly influenced the field of the history of astronomy. Also in 2006, Dick was selected to deliver the first Billingham Cutting Edge Lecture, at the International Astronautical Congress in Valencia, Spain. In 2009, minor planet 6544 Stevendick was named in his honor. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1982) ISBN 0-521-31985-4
- The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1996) ASIN B000UUKKY6
- Life on Other Worlds: The 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate (Cambridge University Press, 2001) ISBN 0-521-79912-0
- Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications (Templeton Foundation Press, 2000) ISBN 1-890151-42-4
- The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (Rutgers University Press, 2005) (co-authored with James Strick) ISBN 0-8135-3733-9
- Sky and Ocean Joined – The U.S. Naval Observatory 1830-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2003) ISBN 0-521-81599-1
- Editor (with Roger Launius), Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (NASA SP 4702, 2006)
- Editor (with Roger Launius), "Societal Impact of Spaceflight" (NASA SP 4801, 2007) (Part 1) (Part 2)
- Editor (with Neil Armstrong et al.), America in Space: NASA’s First Fifty Years, (Abrams, 2007).
- Editor, Remembering the Space Age (NASA SP 4703, 2008) (Part A) (Part B) (Part C)
- Editor (with Mark Lupisella), Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context (NASA SP 4802, 2009)
- Editor, NASA’s First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives (NASA SP 4704, 2010)
- Discovery and Classification in Astronomy: Controversy and Consensus (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
- NASA, NASA Names Dr. Steven J. Dick to be New Historian NASA HQ press release, Oct. 10, 2003
- (NASA 2003)
- (NASA 2003)
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, "Full Committee Hearing on Astrobiology"
- Brashear, Ronald Steven J. Dick Awarded the 2006 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize, American Astronomical Society, 2006
- "Presidents of the History of Astronomy Commission of the IAU and those of ICHA, a joint Commission of the IAU and the IUHPS/DHST founded in 2001".
- "PSW List of Presidents". Retrieved 2008-09-11.
- Library of Congress, Steven Dick Named Chair in Astrobiology at Kluge Center LOC Press Release, Apr. 30, 2013
- (Brashear 2006)
- IAA SETI Permanent study Group "Billingham Cutting Edge Lecture"
- Harvard University "Minor Planet Names"
- NASA History Division
- Steven J. Dick's web site
- U.S. House Committee testimony
- "Closer to Truth" video interviews