James Craig Watson Medal

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James Craig Watson Medal

The James Craig Watson Medal was established by the bequest of James Craig Watson, and is awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for contributions to astronomy. [1]


Year Name Image Motivation
2018 Ewine van Dishoeck EwineVanDishoeck.jpg "A world leader in the fields of molecular astronomy and astrochemistry, van Dishoeck employs observations, theory and experiments to explain the evolutionary traits that lead to the formation of stars and planets from interstellar gas and dust, as well as the chemical basis for the origin of life."[2]
2016 Timothy M. Brown "For his visionary scientific and technical advancements that have been critical to the fields of helioseismology, asteroseismology, and the emerging field of spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets, and for his critical role in helping a new generation of scientists and facilities to succeed."
2014 Robert Kirshner RobertKirshnerIMG 2728x.jpg "For his work with students using supernova light curves as calibrated standard candles, providing evidence for an accelerating expansion of the universe. The dark energy inferred from this result is one of the deepest mysteries of modern science."
2012 Jeremiah P. Ostriker "For his seminal contributions to the theory of the interstellar and intergalactic medium, his cosmological simulations that help illuminate the formation and evolution of structure in the universe, his theoretical contribution to the existence of Dark Matter halos around galaxies, and his dedication to the scientific and academic communities through service as provost, builder of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and as a mentor of generations of young astronomers."
2010 Margaret Geller MargaretGeller1981a.jpg "For her role in critical discoveries concerning the large-scale structure of the Universe, for her insightful analyses of galaxies in groups and clusters, and for her being a model in mentoring young scientists."
2007 Roc M. Cutri "For their monumental work in developing and completing the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, thus enabling a thrilling variety of explorations in astronomy and astrophysics."
2007 Michael F. Skrutskie "For their monumental work in developing and completing the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, thus enabling a thrilling variety of explorations in astronomy and astrophysics."
2004 Vera Rubin Vera Rubin.jpg "For her seminal observations of dark matter in galaxies, large-scale relative motions of galaxies, and for generous mentoring of young astronomers, men and women."
2001 David Todd Wilkinson David Todd Wilkinson.jpg "For elegant precision measurements by Wilkinson, his students, and their students, of universal radiation that is close to blackbody yet wonderfully rich in evidence of cosmic evolution."
1998 Eugene Shoemaker Eugene Shoemaker.jpg "For their painstaking research, which led to the discovery of more than 800 asteroids and 32 comets, including their co-discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy, the first comet observed colliding with a planet."
1998 Carolyn Shoemaker Carolyn Shoemaker.jpg "For their painstaking research, which led to the discovery of more than 800 asteroids and 32 comets, including their co-discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy, the first comet observed colliding with a planet."
1994 Yasuo Tanaka "For his leadership in X-ray astronomy since its beginning, and his crucial role in enabling the U.S./Japanese collaboration in the ASCA mission, a beautiful example of international cooperation in sciences."
1991 Maarten Schmidt "First to grasp the extraordinary distances and luminosities of quasi-stellar sources and a pioneer in their use to probe the outer limits of our universe."
1986 Robert B. Leighton "For his work as creator and exploiter of new instruments and techniques that have opened whole new areas of astronomy to us all--solar oscillations, infrared surveys, spun telescopes, and large millimeter-wave reflectors."
1985 Kent Ford "For his work in the area of image enhancement and galactic dynamics, which has contributed greatly to the characterization of the unseen matter in galaxies."
1982 Stanton J. Peale "For his contributions to the dynamics of solar-system bodies, especially for calculations leading to the prediction of volcanic action on Io, dramatically verified by Voyager photography."
1979 Charles Kowal "For his noteworthy astronomical discoveries, particularly of Chiron, Leda, and numerous supernovae."
1975 Gerald Maurice Clemence "For his long and distinguished career in Dynamical Astronomy and his independent determination of a completely new and more accurate Theory of the Motion of Mars."
1972 André Deprit "In recognition of his resolution of the problem of lunar motion around the earth through his adaption of modern computing machinery to algebraic rather than arithmetic operations."
1969 Jürgen Moser Jürgen Moser.jpeg
1966 Wallace John Eckert "For his pioneering contributions to scientific computing and to the theory of the motion of the moon."
1965 Paul Herget "For his scientific accomplishments in celestial mechanics and orbit computation, and particularly for his contributions to the knowledge of the orbits of asteroids."
1964 Willem Jacob Luyten "For his outstanding contributions to the understanding of "white-dwarf" stars."
1961 Otto Heckmann
1960 Yusuke Hagihara "In recognition of his noteworthy contributions to astronomy."
1957 George Van Biesbroeck George Van Biesbroeck.jpg "For his noteworthy contributions to astronomy."
1955 Chester Burleigh Watts
1951 Herbert R. Morgan "For his distinguished contributions to fundamental astronomy, more specifically his interpretation of transit circle observations."
1948 Samuel Alfred Mitchell Samuel Alfred Mitchell.gif "For his observations of solar eclipses, in particular a detailed study of the spectrum of the chromosphere which has contributed notably to our knowledge of the sun's atmosphere."
1936 Ernest William Brown PSM V76 D207 Ernest William Brown.png
1929 Willem de Sitter WillemDeSitter2.jpg "In recognition of his research in astronomy."
1924 Carl Charlier Charlier, C V L 1923 (ur Astronomien i Lund 1667-1936).jpg "For his outstanding contributions to astronomical science concerning motion and distribution of the stars, and in celestial mechanics."
1916 Armin Otto Leuschner ArminOttoLeuschner.jpg "For the skill and ability shown in supervising the preparation of the tables of the Watson asteroids, involving original methods, and leading to results of value to celestial mechanics."
1913 Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn JCKapteyn.jpg "In recognition of his bold and penetrating researches in the problem of the structure of the stellar universe."
1899 David Gill David Gill.jpg "For his work in perfecting the application of heliometer to astronomical measurements, which has resulted in an important advance in astronomy of precision, especially in the determination of parallaxes of the sun and stars and of the position of the planets."
1894 Seth Carlo Chandler Seth Carlo Chandler.png "For his researches on the variations of latitude."
1891 Arthur Auwers Arthur Auwers.jpg "For his researches in sidereal astronomy, including the reduction of Bradley's observations."
1889 Eduard Schönfeld Eduard Schönfeld avka de.de.JPG "For his services in cataloguing and mapping the stars visible in our latitudes, and especially for his recently published southern Durchmusterung."
1887 Benjamin Apthorp Gould PSM V20 D594 Benjamin Apthorp Gould.jpg "For his valuable labors for nearly forty years in promoting the progress of astronomical science."

Source:National Academy of Sciences

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "James Craig Watson Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Website James Craig Watson Medal