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NRAO Director Tony Beasley Honored as Lifetime AAAS Fellow

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NRAO Director Tony Beasley Honored as Lifetime AAAS Fellow

Tony Beasley, Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and AUI Vice President for Radio Astronomy Operations, was today elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. Among 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators elected to the 2021 class of AAAS Fellows, Beasley is one of just 11 astronomers recognized this year for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.

Beasley is recognized for his distinguished contributions to the advancement of science through leadership in the construction of several major national or international facilities, particularly for radio astronomy.

“AUI would like to congratulate all those scientists recognized as AAAS fellows and we are proud to see Dr. Beasley included among them. Over the past two decades, Tony has played a major role in creating global scientific access to leading-edge radioastronomy facilities, including the Very Long Baseline Array and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, which are used to support the missions of NRAO, AUI, and the National Science Foundation,” said Adam Cohen, President and CEO of AUI. “More recently, he has generated strong support for the next generation Very Large Array, or ngVLA, that will be the world-leading centimeter radio telescope for decades to come and has led projects that elevate the power of radar at the Green Bank Observatory for use in planetary science and defense applications.”

After receiving his Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Sydney, Beasley joined NRAO as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1991. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Director in 1997 and then Assistant Director from 1998 to 2000. He left NRAO to become Project Manager for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). In 2004, he returned to NRAO as an Assistant Director, this time as Project Manager for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. In 2008, Beasley became the Chief Operating Officer and Project Manager of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). He was appointed NRAO Director in February 2012.

“It is an honor to be elected to AAAS fellowship alongside so many outstanding professionals who have dedicated their careers to the progression and elevation of science and engineering,” said Beasley. “The work of AAAS fellows supports positive change in the sciences, and I look forward to seeing what we will continue to do together in the coming years.” 

AAAS Fellowship

Members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections representing each scientific discipline, by three Fellows who are current AAAS Members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the CEO of AAAS. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list. The Council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow to some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future,” said Dr. Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”

About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit www.aaas.org.

Media contacts:

Amy C. Oliver
Public Information & News Manager, NRAO
+1 434 242 9584
[email protected] 

Tal Woliner
Chief Communications Officer, AAAS
[email protected]
+1 202 326 6440

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This news article was originally published on the NRAO website on Jan. 26, 2022.

Recent News

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AUI and UNC-Chapel Hill are currently seeking undergraduate students to contribute to cutting-edge research in astronomy education. This paid opportunity, open to education and STEM majors, explores the impacts of new curriculum centered on the use of robotic telescopes.

Stellar Explosions and Cosmic Chemistry

Astronomers have discovered the secrets of a starburst galaxy producing new stars at a rate much faster than our Milk Way. This research revealed many different molecules, more than ever seen before in a galaxy like this.