The Astronomy Genealogy Project (AstroGen) will list as many as possible of the world's astronomers with their academic parents (also known as thesis advisors, supervisors, directors, or guides) and enable the reader to trace both academic ancestors and descendants. It will be similar to the highly successful Mathematics Genealogy Project. The MGP, which has been in operation since 1996, now contains the names of more than 215,000 “mathematicians.” These include many physicists and astronomers, as well as practitioners of related sciences. Mitchel Keller, the director of the MGP, has generously shared the software used in that project, and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) will host AstroGen, a project of the AAS Historical Astronomy Division, on its website.

Another benefit of the Project is that it will enable historians and sociologists of science to gather a great deal of information about the community of those who have earned doctorates with astronomy-related theses.

Although the results are not yet visible, a small group of us, the “AstroGen Team,” has been working on developing the Project. We have entered more than 23,000 astronomy-related dissertations into a temporary database, taking advantage of the fact that many universities and some countries have posted such information—even the full dissertations—online. We are working on our list of universities that have granted doctorates, and we are dealing with questions regarding what information to list when AstroGen takes its place on this website in a format somewhat similar to that of the MGP.

As of 15 August 2017 we have nearly complete lists of modern doctorates, from 1853 through mid-2017, from the following countries:

United States18714 169
United Kingdom603676
Spain 341091
Netherlands 10979
Canada 26872
Greece 7238
South Africa 897
New Zealand 587
Mauritius 15
Iceland 13
Pakistan 12
Ethiopia 11

The number of universities is the number of institutions which have awarded doctorates for astronomy-related theses. The definition of "astronomy-related" is complicated. See “Introducing AstroGen: The Astronomy Genealogy Project” for a discussion.

We are looking for help. We are especially seeking volunteers who are familiar with the languages and, preferably, the academic cultures of countries not listed above. We currenly have people working on India and Russia. How about taking on Germany, France, Italy, or almost any Asian country? If you would like to become a member of the team, contributing as much or little time as you wish, please contact me at astrogendirector@aas.org.

Publications and Talks about Astrogen

Joseph S. Tenn
Director, AstroGen Project

by JST
email: astrogendirector@aas.org