Science > Jansky Lectureship > Jansky Lecturers > 2023 Jansky Lecturer: Paul Vanden Bout

2023 Jansky Lecturer: Paul Vanden Bout

The NRAO is pleased to award the 2023 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship to Dr. Paul Vanden Bout, Senior Scientist, Emeritus at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of AUI to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy.

During his tenure as NRAO Director from 1985 to 2002, a pivotal moment arose when the Subcommittee on Millimeter- and Submillimeter-Wavelength Astronomy, chaired by Alan Barrett, highlighted the necessity for a large millimeter array. Dr. Vanden Bout played a crucial role in turning this idea into reality, culminating in the creation of ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array). His leadership was instrumental in forming the ALMA partnership, and he successfully secured funding for the construction of ALMA even before stepping down from his Director position. His vision and efforts have significantly contributed to the radio astronomy landscape in the United States today not just with ALMA but also with the construction of both the VLBA and the GBT and the planning for and initiation of the EVLA project.

After earning his A.B. degree from Calvin College in 1961 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966, he has remained deeply engaged in scientific pursuits, with a particular focus on interstellar molecular spectroscopy. His primary interest lies in using molecular spectroscopy, especially at millimeter wavelengths, to deduce the physical characteristics of star-forming interstellar clouds. Throughout his career, he has actively served on various committees, showcasing his commitment to advancing scientific research. Some of the notable committees he has been a part of include the LIGO Program Advisory Committee, the NAS Committee on Radio Frequencies, and the NSF Astronomy Advisory Committee. He has also been involved with the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Council, served on several AAS committees, and held the position of AAS vice-president from 2005 to 2008.

His dedication to the field of astronomy extended to being a member of the Committee for a Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2010-2020 decade, contributing his expertise to shape the direction of research in the field during that period. Dr. Vanden Bout has also published a new book with co-authors Bob Dickman and Adele Plunkett, titled The ALMA Telescope: The Story of a Science Mega-Project, and tells the history of the ALMA Project from its earliest beginnings to its inauguration and first decade of science. The book is available in both print and ebook formats from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The print version can also be ordered direct from Cambridge University Press. It can also be downloaded free as an Open Access book using the same URL.

Charlottesville, VA
Green Bank, WV Socorro, NM

Watch the lecture recording

November 8, 2023

University of Virginia
Darden School of Business Auditorium
Public reception at 6pm ET
Lecture at 7pm ET

November 9, 2023

Green Bank Observatory
Science Center Auditorium
Lecture at 7pm EST
Light Reception with Green Bank staff to immediately follow

November 17, 2023

New Mexico Tech
Workman 101
Lecture at 7pm MST
Public reception to immediately follow