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Doggett Prize

The LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy

Doggett Prize Rules

The Historical Astronomy Division awards the LeRoy E. Doggett Prize biennially to an individual who has significantly influenced the field of the history of astronomy by a career-long effort.

The award is made in even-numbered years, with the deadline for nomination 1 March of the preceding year. Thus the deadline to nominate a candidate for the 2026 prize will be 1 March 2025. Any member of the Historical Astronomy Division may nominate a candidate.

The prize is a memorial to LeRoy Doggett, who was an active and highly-regarded member of the Division and was serving as Secretary-Treasurer at the time of his untimely death. An expert in calendars, archaeoastronomy, and planetary theory, Doggett worked at the US Nautical Almanac Office from 1965–96 and headed it from 1991–96.

Obituary of LeRoy Doggett by John B. Carlson
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 28, no. 4, 1450-1451.



Rules for the Doggett Prize

[last revised April 2017]

  1. General
    1. The LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy (hereafter "the Prize") consists of an appropriate certificate containing a citation from the Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
    2. At the discretion of the HAD Committee, the Prize may be accompanied by an honorarium and/or travel expenses to a HAD meeting in order that the recipient may give an invited lecture.
    3. The Prize shall be given no more often than biennially, on the schedule specified in Sec. IV.
    4. The Prize shall not be given to any person more than once.
    5. Recipients of the Prize may be of any nationality and need not be members of HAD or of the AAS.
    6. Posthumous awards of the Prize shall not be made.
    7. The Prize shall be administered in accordance with the Bylaws of the AAS and the policies of the AAS Council.
  2. Criteria for the Prize
    1. The Prize shall be awarded to an individual whose long-term efforts and lifetime achievements have had significant impact on the field of the history of astronomy.
    2. In the above, "history of astronomy" is taken in its broadest sense, that is, to include all historical studies of the astronomical research, observations, practices, and beliefs of all cultures, past and present. "History of astronomy" also includes the discipline per se, that is, the institutions and practices that make it possible to do historical research involving astronomy.
  3. The Prize Committee
    1. The recipient of the Prize shall be chosen by the Prize Committee, which consists of five persons: the immediate past HAD Chair (Chair of the Prize Committee), the present HAD Chair, the HAD Secretary/Treasurer (Secretary of the Prize Committee), and two at-large members proposed by the HAD Chair and approved by the HAD Committee.
    2. The two at-large members shall serve staggered four-year terms beginning in alternate Januaries. At any given time no more than one of these persons may be a non-member of both the AAS and HAD. In choosing the at-large members, a balance shall be sought on the Committee between the various branches and styles of research in the history of astronomy.
    3. Current members of the Prize Committee are not eligible for the Doggett Prize.
  4. Selection Procedure
    1. The Prize Committee shall issue a call for nominations, either in the HAD News or by other means, no later than 15 months before the award of the prize, which shall be awarded at the first HAD meeting (normally in January) of even-numbered years. A nomination shall consist of a detailed letter of support and a complete curriculum vitae for the nominee. Nominations may be proposed by any Member or Affiliate Member of HAD. An individual may nominate himself or herself for the Prize; in that case a letter of support from someone other than the nominee is required..
    2. Nominations will be accepted by the Secretary of the Prize Committee until 1 March of the year before the year of the award.
    3. The Prize Committee's selection shall be guided by the nomination materials, further materials that they may solicit, and the desirability of balancing the awarding of Prizes over the years between different branches and styles of research or service in the history of astronomy. The Committee may also at any time make its own nominations for consideration.
    4. The Committee shall select a recipient by majority vote.
    5. The Committee may decide at any time not to award a Prize for the current cycle.
    6. Nominees who do not win the Prize are automatically carried over as candidates for the next two Prize cycles, after which time a person must be re-nominated.
    7. The Prize Committee shall make its announcement of the winner, if any, as well as the citation for the winner, no later than October 1 of the year before the year of the Prize. The HAD Committee shall decide at this time whether the recipient shall be invited to give a lecture at the following HAD meeting (normally in January of the year of the Prize), whether travel expenses for the recipient shall be provided, and the amount of any honorarium. These decisions will be guided by the procedures given in Sec. V.
  5. Prize Fund
    1. A permanent Prize Fund shall be established and administered by the AAS. The HAD Committee shall determine what fraction of the Fund's income shall be used to maintain the Fund against inflation. The remaining income shall be available for the Prize and its associated expenses. If income from the Fund is insufficient, the HAD Committee may authorize that Prize expenses be obtained from the principal of the Prize Fund or from the HAD general account.
    2. The HAD Committee and Prize Committee shall make prudent and equitable decisions regarding the amounts to award in any given year for any honoraria and travel expenses.
  6. Amendments
    1. The HAD Committee is empowered to change these rules by majority vote; such changes shall not apply to the current Prize cycle.