Doug Duncan photo
Former Director

Dr. Douglas Duncan is an astronomer and professor at the University of Colorado. Dr. Duncan earned degrees at Caltech and the Univ. of California and was part of the project that first found sunspot cycles on other stars. Subsequently, he joined the staff of the Hubble Space Telescope, and he currently serves on the NASA Advisory Committee Science Committee. In 1992, he accepted a joint appointment at the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium, beginning a trend of modernization of planetariums which has spread to New York, Denver, Los Angeles, and now Boulder.

Duncan is well known as a popularizer of astronomy.  From 1997-2002 he did science commentary on the Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ and he is now heard on the Colorado Public Radio program “Colorado Matters.”  He has appeared on television programs such as the History Channel and BBC Horizon. In 2011 he received the prestigious Richard Emmons award presented to the “Outstanding University Astronomy Teacher in the US.”

Dr. Duncan is the author of “Clickers in the Classroom,” a guide to the powerful new technology that enables teachers to know what all of their students are thinking – not just the ones that raise their hands. He has served as National Education Coordinator for the American Astronomical Society, representing the 7000 professional astronomers in the US and leading efforts for better teaching and public communication for astronomers throughout the country. Duncan has authored over 50 refereed publications and his work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Smithsonian, and National Geographic. His most recent work is on the correlation between student texting and grades.

Dr. Duncan leads educational trips throughout the world to watch total eclipses of the sun and to see the northern lights. In 2017, for the best US Total Eclipse in 40 years he hosted an event at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. In 1991,  Duncan travelled to the North Pole and was elected to The Explorer’s Club of New York City.  In 2014 he began regular science commentary on the Colorado Public Radio program “Colorado Matters."

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