The HAD Prize Committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Sara J. Schechner will be the recipient of the 2018 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy. The Doggett Prize is awarded biennially to an individual who has significantly influenced the field through a career-long effort. This award recognizes both her scholastic achievements and her service to HAD and to the study of astronomical history worldwide.
Sara is a prominent member of the Historical Astronomy Division. She served as Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair during the period 2005-2011, and has served on numerous HAD committees. During 1990s she was an especially valuable member of the AAS Centennial Committee, and served as Chair of the Exhibit Subcommittee. She has also served on the Working Group on the Preservation of Astronomical Heritage since 2007.
Her influence upon the history of astronomy is felt worldwide. She received her PhD (supervised by Owen Gingerich and I. Bernard Cohen) in 1988, and since 2000 has been the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard. There she acts as chief curator for early scientific instruments and related books and photographs. She is widely published; her two most recent volumes are Sundials and Time: Finding Instruments of the Adler Planetarium (Adler Planetarium, 2017) and Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (Oxford University Press, 2015; co-authored with Laurel Ulrich, Ivan Gaskell, and Sarah Carter). She has prepared numerous exhibitions and received many awards, including the Great Exhibitions Prize from the British Society for the History of Science in 2014 and the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize from the History of Science Society in 2008.
The award will be presented to Sara at a plenary session of the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society, to be held next January in National Harbor, Maryland. We look forward to recognizing her, and to hearing her plenary lecture!