Dr. Steven J. Dick
J. Dick, Ph.D., FAAAS
is the 2013–2014 Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in
Astrobiology at the Library of Congress.
Steve was the 2011–2012 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair at the National Air and Space Museum, and served as the NASA Chief Historian and Director of the NASA History Office from 2003 to 2009. Prior to that he worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. for 24 years, including three years on a mountaintop in New Zealand. He earned his B.S. in astrophysics (1971), and MA and Ph.D. (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University.
Among his books are Plurality of Words: The Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (translated into French), The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science, and Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate, the latter translated into Chinese, Italian, Czech, Greek, and Polish. His most recent books are (with James Strick) The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology. and a comprehensive history of the U.S. Naval Observatory, Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory 1830–2000. The latter received the Pendleton Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government. He is also editor of Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications, coeditor of Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and Stars: NASA Administrators Symposium, and author of Discovery and Classification in Astronomy: Controversy and Consensus. Read the full list of his books!
Steve is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the NASA Group Achievement Award for his role in NASA’s multidisciplinary program in astrobiology, the NASA Group Achievement Award for the book America in Space, and the 2006 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society.
He has served as Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society, as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, and a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2009 the International Astronomical Union designated minor planet 6544 stevendick in his honor. In 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Watch Searching for Life in the Universe: What Does it Mean for Humanity?, Discovering Life in the Universe, and Caution and Boldness: Balancing Risk in Spaceflight. Read his Wikipedia profile.