Taylor Named Recipient of the 2008 Carl Sagan Medal
May 29, 2008
The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society has announced that G. Jeffrey Taylor of the University of Hawaii is the recipient of the 2008 Carl Sagan Medal.
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 awarded to scientists whose efforts have significantly contributed to a public understanding of, and enthusiasm for, planetary science.
Taylor, a planetary geoscientist at the University of Hawaii, is widely recognized in the planetary science community for his research on the Moon, which has focused on using Apollo samples and data collected by numerous spacecraft missions to understand the general composition of the Moon’s surface and interior and how its geology compares with Earth’s. His studies have improved our understanding of how our Moon and the planets formed and changed.
Taylor describes himself as “fanatical” about promoting the fascinating discoveries made by planetary exploration and the research on data and rocks returned by space missions, and believes that it is the responsibility of planetary scientists to help publicize their discoveries. To this end, along with colleague Linda Martel, Taylor co-founded the Planetary Science Research Discoveries website, an educational site that shares the latest research on meteorites, planets, and other solar system bodies being made by NASA-sponsored scientists. The site has received numerous awards for extraordinary effort in presenting quality science information to a wide audience.
Other DPS awards announced for 2008 include Michael A’Hearn of the University of Maryland, who was awarded the Gerard P. Kuiper Prize, which honors outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science; and Jon Giorgini of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who was given the Harold Masursky award, which acknowledges outstanding service to planetary science and exploration.
Congratulations to these well-deserving award winners!
For more information about the annual DPS awards, including a list of past recipients, visit
For more information about Dr. Taylor, visit
Last updated May 29, 2008