AAS

AstroGen

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, promotors, 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 235,000 “mathematicians.” These include many physicists and astronomers, as well as practitioners of related sciences. Mitchel Keller, the director of the MGP, has generously shared information about 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 27,000 astronomy-related dissertations into a temporary database, taking advantage of the fact that many universities and some countries have posted such information—often 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 24 January 2019 we have nearly complete lists of modern doctorates, from 1853 through mid-2018, of astronomy-related doctorates awarded by the following countries:

CountryUniversitiesDoctorates
United States19114 831
United Kingdom624 272
Spain 341 086
Netherlands 101 084
Canada 26956
Australia18927
Sweden8398
Greece 7239
Argentina5232
Finland5164
Israel5163
South Africa 8147
Ireland6125
Denmark2113
New Zealand 5111
Norway482
Chile450
Iran525
Estonia120
Pakistan 115
Mauritius 15
Ethiopia 13
Iceland 13

Spain has not been updated as recently as the other countries. The number of universities is the number of institutions which have awarded doctorates for astronomy-related theses. The definition of "astronomy-related" is discussed in “Introducing AstroGen: The Astronomy Genealogy Project”.

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 a person working on Russia, and France is about half done with some 2000 theses entered. 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