New Genealogy Project Allows Astronomers to Trace Ancestors (Download PDF)

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New Genealogy Project Allows Astronomers to Trace Ancestors

  • A genealogy project for academics who earned doctorates on astronomy related theses was launched by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and its Historical Astronomy Division.
  • The AstroGen project or Astronomy Genealogy allows these academicians to trace their ‘ancestors.’
  • In academic genealogy, a person՚s parent is their thesis advisor.


  • The database goes back to 1766.
  • It provides information on more than 33,000 astronomers, their advisors and universities and the links to their dissertations.
  • Half of the doctorates were awarded since 2002, while two-thirds of these were online.
  • More than 28,000 academics who earned astronomy-related doctorates are listed in the database.
  • It includes 5,000 scientists who advised them but whose own doctorates are yet to be recorded.
  • For 25 countries, the project is complete.
  • The two reasons for launching the project are-
    • Many scholars enjoy tracing their ancestors and descendants.
    • AstroGen will facilitate studies of astronomical community by historians and sociologists of science.
  • Some interesting links between astronomy of scholars of the past and present have become known from the project.
  • The database will make it possible to compare numbers or careers of those earning astronomy related doctorates for different countries, universities, or time periods.
  • Universities in the United States awarded a little more than half the doctorates listed in the database.
  • Degrees from Universities in Asia have not yet been compiled by the project.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 23, 2020

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