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Review of Progress Toward the Decadal Survey Vision in New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics


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Astronomy and Astrophysics Midterm Assessment Symposium 


The Midterm Astronomy and Astrophysics Assessment Committee organized a Science Symposium on December 12, 2015, at the Beckman Center on the campus of the University of California at Irvine. This symposium assessed the progress that has been made on the high-priority science questions and discovery areas identified in the 2010 "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics" decadal survey report. 


View the symposium program


If you were unable to attend the symposium in person, we invite you to view a professional recording of the proceedings.


Statement of Task

The National Research Council shall convene an ad hoc committee to review the responses of NASA's Astrophysics program, NSF's Astronomy program, and DOE's Cosmic Frontiers program (hereafter the Agencies' programs) to previous NRC advice, primarily the 2010 NRC decadal survey, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics" (NWNH).

In the context of funding circumstances that are substantially below those assumed in NWNH, the committee's review will include the following tasks:

1. Describe the most significant scientific discoveries, technical advances, and relevant programmatic changes in astronomy and astrophysics over the years since the publication of the decadal survey;
2. Assess how well the Agencies' programs address the strategies, goals, and priorities outlined in the 2010 decadal survey and other relevant NRC reports;
3. Assess the progress toward realizing these strategies, goals, and priorities; and
4. In the context of strategic advice provided for the Agencies' programs by Federal Advisory Committees, and in the context of mid-decade contingencies described in the decadal survey, recommend any actions that could be taken to maximize the science return of the Agencies' programs.

The review should not revisit or alter the scientific priorities or mission recommendations provided in the decadal survey and related NRC reports but may provide guidance on implementation of the recommended science and activities portfolio and on other potential activities in preparation for the next decadal survey.


Meeting 1:
October 8-10, 2015; Washington, DC 
View Agenda I View Presentations

Meeting 2:
December 12-14, 2015; Irvine, CA (symposium)
View Agenda I View Presentations

Meeting 3:
January 11-13, 2016; Washington, DC
View Agenda I View Presentations

Meeting 4
February 26-27, 2016, Washington, DC
View Agenda´╗┐ I ´╗┐View Presentations


Committee Members

View Bios

Jacqueline N. Hewitt (Chair)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Adam S. Burrows
Princeton University

Neil J. Cornish
Montana State University

Andrew W. Howard
University Hawaii-Manoa

Bruce Macintosh
Stanford University

Richard F. Mushotzky
University of Maryland

Angela V. Olinto
University of Chicago

Steven M. Ritz
University of California, Santa Cruz

Alexey Vikhlinin
Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

David H. Weinberg
Ohio State University

Rainer Weiss
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Eric M. Wilcots
University of Wisconsin

Edward L. Wright
University of California, Los Angeles

A. Thomas Young
Lockheed Martin, retired 


David Lang

Senior Program Officer

Katie Daud
Research Associate

Dionna Wise
Program Coordinator


*Below is an archive list of presenter names and a link to the slides presented at the committee meeting during open session. We have only included the slides for which the presenter has given consent to post.

Presenter names and slides are listed in the order of the agenda.

October 8-9, 2015

Paul Hertz, NASA
Jim Ulvestad, NSF
Kathy Turner, DOE
Meredith Drosback, OSTP-No Slides
Fabio Favata-No Slides
Kazuhisa Mitsuda, JAXA
Neil Gehrels, NASA
Vern Pankonin, NSF
Tuck Stebbins, NASA
Rob Petre, NASA

December 12-14, 2015

Jacqueline Hewitt- View Vimeo Recording

Roger Blandford, Stanford University
Rachel Bean, Cornell University - View Vimeo Recording
Xavier Siemens, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Alison Coil, UCSD - View Vimeo Recording
Megan Donahue, Michigan State University
Roger Chevalier, University of Virginia - View Vimeo Recording
Lars Bildsten, UCSD
Michael Shull, University of Colorado, Boulder - View Vimeo Recording
Julianne Dalcanton, University of Washington
Lee Hartmann, University of Michigan - View Vimeo Recording
Scott Gaudi, Ohio State University
Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton
Pat McCarthy, GMTO
Steve Kahn, Stanford University
Ed Stone, Caltech
Gary Sanders, MIT

David Williams, UCSC
Karsten Danzmann, Max Planck Institute
Grace Hu, OMB - No Slides
JD Kundu, OMB - No Slides

January 11-13, 2016

Jim Ulvestad, NSF
Kathy Turner, DOE
Paul Hertz, NASA


February 26. 2016

Jim Ulvestad, NSF
Kathy Turner, DOE
Paul Hertz, NASA


* No slides indicates that the presenter did not utilize slides during their presentation.

* Permission pending indicates that the presenter has not given us consent to publish the slides they presented at the meeting.

*Written materials submitted to a study committee by external sources are listed in the project's public access file and can be made available to the public upon request via the Academies Public Access Records Office.