Pollock Award

The Herbert C. Pollock Award was established by the Dudley Observatory to honor the long service of Dr. Pollock as a member and past President of the Dudley Observatory Board of Trustees.

The purpose of the Award is to provide encouragement and support for an innovative project in the history of astronomy or astrophysics, to be undertaken by a faculty member, research associate, or postdoctoral associated with a college, university, nonprofit research institution or observatory located in North America. Applications from persons meeting the other requirements, who are not currently affiliated with any institution will also be considered.

Special consideration will be given to proposals that involve the use of the Dudley Observatory Archives, the Dudley Collection of early astronomical works housed at Union College or the Benjamin A. Gould, Jr. library held by Dudley Observatory. More information about our library and collections can be found on the collections overview page.

The Award consists of a maximum of $2,500 to be distributed in the year of the Award. A recipient of the Pollock Award may not reapply for a new award for three years.

Application Procedures

The application should include the following parts:

  1. A descriptive title with a brief account of the project, not to exceed four pages. The description should permit a selection committee of historians and other scholars to judge what is proposed and how completion of the project would contribute to historical knowledge. The description should also include plans for dissemination of the completed work (written report, publication, public talk, etc.).
  2. A one-page non-technical “executive summary” of the project to be evaluated by non-historians.
  3. A budget showing how the Award funds would be spent, together with a description of the applicant’s current funding and the funding agency, if any, for present work. No overhead charges will be permitted.
  4. A biographical sketch and personal bibliography – not to exceed four pages.
  5. The names and affiliations of two scientists or other scholars who may be contacted by the Selection Committee, should the need arise, as well as the name of the applicant’s supervisor or Department Chair. Letters of support should not be included with the application.

Please send your completed application to info@dudleyobservatory.org.

Selection Timeline

To guarantee full consideration, submit application by October 31st, 2019.  Late applications will be reviewed at the convenience of the committee.

The Pollock Award Selection Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees of the Dudley Observatory following review of the applications. The recipient of the Pollock Award will be announced in January 2020.

At the end of the award year, the recipient is required to submit a final report detailing their expenditures, along with a copy of their research results. If the project will take more than one year to complete, this should be stated in the application.


Previous winners of the Herbert C. Pollock Award

  • 2017- Dr. Sarah Waltz, University of the Pacific, “Connections between William Herschel’s Music and his Science”, and Teresa Wilson, Michigan Technological University, “This Month in Astronomical History: Understanding the Past to Improve the Future”
  • 2011 – Ellen N. Bouton, Archivist, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, “Voices of Radio Astronomers: Digitizing the Sullivan Interviews”
  • 2010 – Professor Linda French, Illinois Wesleyan University, “Hearing with the Eye: The Astronomical Education of John Goodricke”
  • 2010 – Professor Pamela Gossin, University of Texas – Dallas, “A Shared Sense of Universe: Rural Landscapes and Cosmic Spaces in Thomas Hardy and Some American Regional Writers”
  • 2009 – Dr. Keith Snedegar, Professor of History, Utah Valley University, Visiting Scholar, African Studies Center, Michigan State University, “A Visual Photometry of A. W. Roberts, South African Variable Star Observer”
  • 2008 – Dr. Craig B. Waff, Air Force Research Laboratory History Office “Orator to the Stars: An Investigation of the Scope, Content, Style, and Influence of Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel’s Public Astronomical Lecturing Activity (1842-1860)”
  • 2007 – Ms. Trudy E. Bell, Science/Technology Writer & Editor “George Washington Hough: Life, Observations, Inventions, and Influence”
  • 2006 – Dr. Lewis Pyenson, University of Louisiana “A Thousand Years of Sky Images”
  • 2005 – Dr. Jorge Bartolucci, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Drs. Santiago Paolantinio & Edgardo Minniti, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba “American Astronomers Cooperation in the Establishment of the National Observatory of Cordoba, Argentina. The Case of Dudley Observatory”
  • 2004 – Ms. Trudy E. Bell, Unaffiliated “Inventorying the Stars: Astronomers’ Voluntary Exile in Southern Observing Expeditions”
  • 2003 – Dr. Bradley Schaefer, University of Texas at Austin “Precise Latitude and Date for the Constellation Lore in Aratus’ Phaenomena”
  • 2002 – Dr. William L. Vanderburgh, Wichita State University “Dark Matters in Contemporary Astrophysics: A Case Study in Theory Choice and Evidential Reasoning”
  • 2001 – Dr. Patricia Whitesell, Detroit Observatory “Franz Brunnow’s Year of Leadership at the Dudley Observatory, 1859-1860”
  • 2001 – Dr. Tom English, Gardner-Webb University “Solar Eclipse Expeditions in America: 1869-1900”
  • 2000 – Dr. Alice N. Walters, University of Massachusetts Lowell “Objectifying Nature: Culture, Commerce and Science in Britain and America, 1750-1850”
  • 1998 – Dr. Richard Staley, University of Chicago “Albert Michelson and the Observatory: Precision Measurement, the Interferometer, and the Dialogue between Physics and Astronomy”
  • 1997 – Dr. Peter W. Wlasuk, Florida International University “A Biography of Lewis Swift and Catalogue of his Nonstellar Objects, with Corrections to the NGC, ICs 1 & 2”
  • 1997 – Dr. Myles W. Jackson, University of Chicago “A Spectrum of Belief: the Communicability of Joseph von Fraunhofer’s Artisanal, Optical Knowledge”
  • 1996 – Dr. Ian R. Bartky, Unaffiliated “Scientific Foundations of the Dudley Observatory”
  • 1996 – Dr. Frederic J. Baumgartner, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, “Astrology’s Role in the Scientific Revolution”
  • 1996 – Dr. David S. P. Dearborn, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Solar Observations at the Origin Place of the Sun”
  • 1996 – Dr. Mark Littman, University of Tennessee “Heavens on Fire: the Great Leonid Meteor Storms”
  • 1996 – Dr. Kevin D. Pang, Pang & Associates “A History of Research on the Dynamics of the Earth-Moon System at the Tricentenary of Halley’s Discovery”