Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science

Sagan FrontSagan Back

Image of Carl Sagan copied with permission from a photograph by Alexander Tsiaras.

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

  • The Carl Sagan Medal (hereafter referred to as the Sagan Medal) was established by the DPS to recognize and honor outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public. It is to be awarded to scientists whose efforts have significantly contributed to a public understanding of, and enthusiasm for, planetary science.
  • For purposes of this prize, 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.
  • Candidates for the Sagan Medal may be of any age or nationality. Only living nominees will be considered for an award.
  • The recipient of the Sagan Medal will be selected by the DPS Committee using such procedures as it may adopt. The Committee has the sole authority to select winners, as well as the option not to award the Sagan Medal in any year, at its discretion.
  • The Sagan Medal will consist of a medal with citation and a cash award in an amount to be determined by the DPS Committee.
  • The recipient of the Sagan Medal is expected to present a public lecture on a subject in planetary science of his or her choosing. The lecture will normally be given to an interested public audience at a venue separate from the annual DPS meeting. The specific venue will be arranged by the recipient and the DPS committee. The DPS may cover expenses not otherwise reimbursed associated with the presentation of the medal and the public lecture. In addition, a plenary talk at the annual DPS meeting is an option.
Past Sagan Medal Winners
1998 W. K. Hartmann
1999 C. R. Chapman
2000 L. Lebofsky
2001 A. Brahic
2002 H. B. Hammel
2003 (no award)
2004 D. Morrison
2005 R. Lopes
2006 D. H. Grinspoon
2007 (no award)
2008 G. J. Taylor
2009 S. W. Squyres
2010 C. C. Porco
2011 J. Bell
2012 P. Michel
2013 D. Yeomans

All DPS members are encouraged to submit nominations for the Sagan Medal.