June 1, 2022
The society cited York “for exceptional vision in the conception and design of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a major imaging and spectroscopic survey that has created the most detailed three-dimensional maps of the universe ever made. Dr. York, the founding director of SDSS, is recognized for his tireless leadership and selfless dedication to carrying out the survey, thereby creating one of the most important and transformational facilities in astronomy.”
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey was the first very large survey ushering in the era of “big data” astronomy. It revolutionized access to data and built a tool for the professional astronomer and novice alike to explore a vast portion of the sky from their desktop.