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For his extraordinary contributions to the public communication of astrophysics through popular books and articles for broad audiences, his mentorship of science writers, and his dedication to enhancing the dissemination of science news throughout the world.
Maran has decades of experience in the space program, having retired from NASA in October 2004, after more than 35 years with the agency. He has authored or edited twelve books and more than 100 popular articles on astronomy and space exploration, and many more scientific publications.
In August 2009, Maran retired from his 25-year post (mostly overlapping with NASA service) as Press Officer of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). As Press Officer, Maran oversaw news events announcing many of the most important discoveries in all of space science, including topics ranging from alien exoplanets to primordial galaxies at the edge of the known Universe.
Maran’s articles about science for the public have appeared in Smithsonian, Natural History, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sky & Telescope, and Astronomy magazines, in ten encyclopedias and encyclopedia year books, and in invited contributions to The Washington Post.
His two most recent books, both written jointly with Laurence A. Marschall and published in 2009, are "Galileo's New Universe: The Revolution in Our Understanding of the Cosmos" and "Pluto Confidential: An Insider Account of the Ongoing Battles over the Status of Pluto".
His other books include "Astronomy for Dummies®", published in English, Chinese, French, German, Russian, Bulgarian and Dutch; "The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia" (with Foreword by Carl Sagan); a college text, "New Horizons in Astronomy" written with John C. Brandt, which was also published in Arabic; and "Gems of Hubble", written with Jacqueline Mitton.