Citing "Profound Influence on Astronomy" Gunn Receives First Joseph Weber Award from AAS

James E. Gunn, Project Scientist of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University, is the recipient of the first Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation from the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

"Dr. Gunn is awarded the Joseph Weber Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to astronomical instrumentation which have influenced the development of instruments on major telescopes worldwide," the AAS citation read.

"He has been deeply involved in the conception and realization of an impressive series of science-driven instruments, such as the early CCD spectrographs and cameras of Palomar Observatory, the Wide Field/Planetary Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the extremely imaginative and powerful Sloan Digital Sky Survey Project. His research with these instruments has had a profound influence on astronomy, and the research accomplishments by others using the instruments are an extensive, highly influential body of contributions to astronomical research."

The Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation is named for the late Joseph Weber, a physicist at the University of Maryland and long time member of the AAS. The AAS said: "Weber was known for his pioneering work on the amplification of microwave radiation, the development of a coherent technique for neutrino detection and most importantly for the design, construction and operation of the first detector for gravitational radiation."

Gunn received the award in May at Princeton.