Andrew Fraknoi is an award-winning science educator known
for his skill in interpreting astronomical discoveries
and communicating his ideas in everyday language. He is
currently the Chair of the Astronomy Program at Foothill
College near San Francisco. He has given more than 400
public lectures on such topics as "What Were the
Atoms in Your Body Doing 8 Billion Years Ago?" Nationally,
he has been heard on Science Friday, Weekend
Edition, All Things Considered on National
Public Radio. His television appearances include The
Today Show, CBS Morning News, and Larry
Andrew Fraknoi's background includes 14 years serving
as the Executive Director of the Astronomical Society
of the Pacific, an international scientific and educational
organization founded in 1889. He was also editor of its
popular level magazine, Mercury, and its newsletter
for teachers, The Universe in the Classroom. He
founded and directed Project ASTRO, a program that trains
and brings professional and amateur astronomers into 4th
- 9th grade classrooms to help teachers be more effective
in covering astronomy and space science.
A prolific author, he has edited two collections of science
articles and science fiction stories for Bantam Books,
and is the lead author of Voyages through the Universe,
which has become one of the leading astronomy textbooks
in the world. He is also the editor of a two-volume teaching
guide called The Universe at Your Fingertips -
one of the most widely used astronomy education resources.
With Dr. Sidney Wolff, he is the founding editor of Astronomy
Education Review, an on-line journal/magazine about
astronomy and space science education.
Educated at Harvard University and the University of California,
Berkeley, Andrew Fraknoi has taught astronomy and physics
at San Francisco State University, the City College of
San Francisco, Canada College, and several campuses of
the University of California Extension Division. He serves
on the Board of Trustees of the Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence (SETI) Institute, a scientific and educational
organization. He is also a Fellow of the Committee for
the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP), specializing in debunking astrology.
In 1994, he received the Annenberg Foundation Prize of
the American Astronomical Society, the highest honor in
the field of astronomy education, as well as the Klumpke-Roberts
Prize of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, awarded
for a lifetime of contributions to popularizing astronomy.
More recently, he was the first recipient of the 2002
Carl Sagan Prize, and was elected a Fellow of the California
Academy of Sciences in 2003. His "Physics for Poets:
Everything You Wanted to Know about Einstein but Were
Afraid to Ask" course received the 2005 "Innovation
of the Year" award from the League for Innovation.
Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by
the International Astronomical Union to honor his work
in sharing the excitement of modern astronomy with students,
teachers, and the public.