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James Van Allen Lecture
Not Currently Accepting Nominations. Check Back in January!
Career Stage
Early Career
Middle Career
Award Type
Section Lectures
Of Note
Invitation to present at annual meeting;
Presented two out of every three years;
Peer nomination required
Submission Window
Mid-Jan - Mid-April
Established 1989

Recognizing Contributions to Magnetospheric Science

The James Van Allen Lecture is presented two out of every three years to a space scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of magnetospheric science. It is named to honor the life and work of astrophysicist and space pioneer James A. Van Allen. The lecture is presented during the AGU Fall Meeting.

The Van Allen Lecture is also part of the Bowie Lecture Series, established to commemorate the 50th presentation of the William Bowie medal, AGU’s highest honor.

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

  • A lecture certificate
  • Recognition at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • An invitation to present the Van Allen Lecture at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded
  • A ticket to the Space Physics and Aeronomy section dinner at AGU's annual meeting the year the honor is awarded

About the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section

The Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) Section is united by its interest in the Sun, the heliosphere (the region around the Sun that is permeated by the solar wind and the interplanetary magnetic field), and the upper atmospheres and magnetospheres of solar system planets and small bodies. To maintain the integrity of its scientific endeavors and to make participation in AGU activities more manageable, the Section is organized into three subsections:

  • Concerns of the Aeronomy (SA) subsection include the Earth’s ionosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere, auroras and airglow, lightning, and planetary atmospheres and ionospheres.
  • Researchers affiliated with the Solar and Heliospheric physics (SH) subsection study the solar wind, coronal heating, flares, coronal mass ejections, magnetic reconnection, collisionless shocks, and helioseismology.
  • The Magnetospheric physics (SM) subsection’s focus is on geomagnetic storms, magnetospheric substorms, the magnetic fields and currents of the magnetosphere, the magnetopause, and the magnetospheres of planets and small bodies in the solar system.


The nominee must be an active AGU member.
  • Nominators and supporters are not required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • Thesis/research advisors may nominate their advisees.
All Parties
Must be in compliance with AGU's conflict of interest and professional conduct policies.
Read AGU's Ethics Policies