Press Release

NASA’s David Morrison wins 2004 Sagan Medal

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2004
Filed under ,

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) has awarded its 2004 Carl Sagan
Medal to Dr. David Morrison of the NASA Ames Research Center. The Sagan
Medal is awarded annually to an active researcher in the DPS for long-term
excellence in the communication of planetary science to the public. The
Sagan Medal will be presented to Morrison at DPS 2004, which will convene
November 8-12 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Morrison is Senior Scientist for the Astrobiology Institute at Ames, which
is located in Moffett Field, California. Throughout his scientific career
as an expert on solar system small bodies and as an investigator for
numerous spacecraft missions, including Mariner 10, Voyager, and Galileo,
Morrison also has enthusiastically dedicated himself to sharing the
excitement of planetary exploration with the public. For two decades,
Morrison generated a widely-praised and widely-used series of slide and
information sets, featuring the best planetary images available; he also
authored informational books for the general public on the Voyager flybys
of Jupiter and Saturn. Morrison has given hundreds of public lectures and
has appeared for many years on radio and television explaining planetary
science in everyday language. As President of the Astronomical Society of
the Pacific, Morrison devoted himself to encouraging and supporting the
educational work of the society and also chaired the ASP Long-Term Aims
Committee, which set out the goals and activities for public outreach that
the organization is still following today. He is co-author of one of the
first textbooks in planetary science. Morrison and co-authors are also
successors in the continuation and revision of the original George Abell
series of astronomy textbooks, reaching students worldwide, providing for
many the basis for their only college science course. He has been
instrumental in illuminating the scientific basis for potential hazards due
to asteroid and comet impacts through refereed papers, popular articles and
books, and is responsible for NEO News (with about 800 subscribers) and for
the Impact Hazard website, His educational
impact also continues through the coordination of activities for the NASA
Astrobiology Institute, with special attention to the content of
undergraduate courses in this new interdisciplinary field.

The DPS is the largest organization of professional planetary scientists in
the world. More information on the annual DPS meeting and this year’s
prize winners, including an image of Dr. Morrison, can be found on the DPS
web site at

SpaceRef staff editor.