For his decades of work bringing the excitement and beauty of physics and astronomy to the 4 million people of Puerto Rico, through his creation of The Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center at the Arecibo Observatory, his books and his own translations of them into Spanish, and through his popular articles, blog, and workshops for teachers and journalists
The 2010 Andrew Gemant Award was presented to Dr. Daniel Altschuler for his decades of work bringing the excitement and beauty of physics and astronomy to the 4 million people of Puerto Rico, through his creation of The Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center at the Arecibo Observatory, his books and his own translations of them into Spanish, and through his popular articles, blog, and workshops for teachers and journalists.
From 1991-2003, Altschuler directed the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The world's largest and most sensitive radiotelescope -- a 1,000-foot diameter dish -- surveys faint signals originating in everything from Earth's upper atmosphere to some of the universe's most distant galaxies. Scientists use this telescope to answer questions related to the distribution of galaxies in the universe and to study the mechanisms behind pulsar emission, the structure of radio galaxies, the properties of solar system objects (via radar), and the behavior of electrons and ions in the ionosphere.
Throughout his career, Altschuler has tried to bridge the gap between scientists and the public -- both through his teaching and writing and by transforming the Arecibo Observatory into a venue for science education. As director of the observatory, Altschuler raised some two million dollars for the new "Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center" at the observatory and supervised its construction. He also oversaw a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund permanent exhibits to fill this space, which is now the top place on Puerto Rico where members of the public can learn about science.
Altschuler's efforts to bring science to the public led him to help found a society for amateur astronomers in Puerto Rico and to travel far and wide lecturing to large audiences -- from Johannesburg to Montevideo to New York to Chicago and across Latin America. He has authored numerous scientific papers and a variety of articles and books in English and Spanish for the general public.
In 2001 the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature awarded its second prize for the best book of the year to his book "Hijos de las Estrellas" -- also: "Children of the Stars"- (Cambridge University Press). The institute awarded him the second "Bolivar Pagán" journalism prize for articles he published in 2003 and 2005. In 2006, the same body awarded his book "Ciencia, Pseudociencia, y Educació" ("Science, Pseudoscience and Education") first prize in its "investigació y críica" category.