Owen Gingerich, professor of astronomy and of the history of science emeritus, has been awarded the 2006 Janssen Prize by the Société Astronomique de France (French Astronomical Society). First established in 1897, this prestigious prize is awarded every year (alternately to a French and non-French scientist) to an astronomer of international reputation, both for his or her scientific achievements and for his or her contributions to the diffusion of astronomical knowledge to the public.

According to the award citation, Gingerich’s scientific achievements include the study of stellar atmospheres. A senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Gingerich was one of the main proponents of the groundbreaking model of the solar photosphere known as the “Bilderberg model.”