The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award

This prize is awarded annually (or less frequently) by the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society.

The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award was created by the DPS after the late distinguished journalist of Science News Magazine and friend of Planetary Sciences, Jonathan Eberhart, to recognize and stimulate distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences.

For purposes of this award, planetary science shall be understood to refer to the multidisciplinary study of our solar system and its members, as well as other planetary systems and their members, excluding work dealing primarily with the Sun or the Earth.

The prize shall be awarded at the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, for material published at any time during the two years preceding the year of the award. For example, material published in 2012 or 2013 will be eligible for the award in 2014, and material from 2013 nominated for the award in 2014 will remain in nomination for the 2015 award as well.

The entries are judged by a subcommittee of distinguished scientists and journalists selected by the DPS Committee. This subcommittee consists of the DPS Press Officer, who will serve as subcommittee chair; the Chair of the DPS Prize Committee (ex-officio, the past chair of the DPS Committee); and a past winner of either the Eberhart or Sagan awards, as selected by the DPS Committee from a list of two eligible nominees proposed by the DPS Prize Committee. The subcommittee may issue "no award" in the absence of any nomination that meets their criteria or expectations for this award. The decisions of the judging subcommittee, as confirmed by the DPS Committee, are final.

The winning author (or authors) will receive (or divide) a prize of $1,000, and a citation. The DPS/AAS will pay the winning author's personal and travel expenses so that the award can be received in person at the division's meeting. The acceptance of the award implies a commitment of the winner(s) to come to receive the award in person. The publisher of the winning work will receive a certificate honoring the publication in which the work appeared.

A complete entry consists of the appropriate entry form completely filled in and the article submitted together.

Nominations for 2014 are due May 15, 2014.

All material must be sent to:

c/o Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
Subject: Jonathan Eberhart Award Application

Any questions should be addressed to the DPS press officer at

Rules for the Jonathan Eberhart Award

  1. Entries must be written by journalists or feature writers. The work of professional scientists or of members of the judging panel is not eligible. Working scientists are not eligible for the award.
  2. Entries must be newspaper, magazine or web articles—written in English—dealing primarily with a topic or topics in planetary sciences. Entries must have been available to, and intended for, the general public. For a clarification of what topics will be considered admissible and what topics will be rejected, please see the DPS By-laws, noting Article 1.3.
  3. Entries that do not carry individual bylines (that is, proof of authorship) should be accompanied by a letter from the editor.
  4. Entries can be submitted by the journalist or by a third party. In all cases, the name appearing on the application cover page should be the name of the author, not that of the person nominating. If you are submitting an entry for a third party, please enclose a cover letter explaining it.
  5. Electronic submissions are accepted if one "hard" copy of the original article is sent with the application. Acceptable formats are PDF, MS Word or Postscript.
  6. Web-based articles are accepted and are subject to the same rules as electronic submissions.
  7. A series may be submitted as a single entry if each section clearly states that it is part of a series. One or two individual sections of a series may also be submitted as separate entries.
  8. A maximum of three entries written by a single author or group of authors may be submitted.
  9. The collaborative effort of multiple authors will be considered as a single entry. In case the award goes to an entry with multiple authors, only one representative will receive the travel award to the DPS meeting. Each author will receive a citation.
  10. The winners from the previous year, and the past-winner member of the Eberhart Prize Subcommittee, are not eligible; otherwise, past winners are eligible to win for new submissions. However, no author can receive more than three Eberhart awards.
Past Eberhart Award Winners
2009 J. K. Beatty
2010 G. Musser
2011 E. Lakdawalla
2012 M. Carroll
2013 R. Kerr
2014 J. Oberg

All DPS members are encouraged to submit nominations for the Eberhart Award.