Winner of 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History announced

Here’s an announcement from the  journal Quest: The History of Spaceflight:

“Rethinking the Overview Effect” named winner
of 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History

Jordan Bimm earns cash prize, trophy, and publication in Quest.

“Rethinking the Overview Effect,” has earned York University (Toronto Canada) graduate student, Jordan Bimm, the 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History.

Established in 2011, the annual prize is designed to encourage students to perform original research and submit papers with history of spaceflight themes.  The winner receives a $300 cash prize, a trophy, publication in the peer-reviewed journal, “Quest: The History of Spaceflight,” and an invitation to present at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology.

Over the years, the Prize has seen entries from students at universities throughout the world with papers covering a wide range of topics — from early animal research to the Korean space program; from women engineers at NASA Marshall in the 1960s to the public diplomacy behind the astronaut world tours; from a history of space debris to NASA’s Space Flight Participant program.

The winning paper from Mr. Bimm, a third year PhD student in Science and Technology Studies, focuses on how historical perspectives can offer insights into why we think what we think about  space and how this matters.  His paper, takes a look at the 1987 book, The Overview Effect by American author Frank White who coined the term to describe a collection of positive mental experiences reported by astronauts and cosmonauts returning from outerspace. The idea that viewing the Earth from space fundamentally changes people “for the better” has resonated with a number of important groups, including space psychologists, space industry advocates, politicians, members of environmental and peace movements, and most recently, members of the public with an interest in space. However, looking at the historical data, Mr. Bimm’s research suggests the overview effect is only one possibility among many for the human experience of viewing the earth from outerspace,

The jury was coordinated by Dr. David Christopher Arnold, the publisher of Quest, and consists of members of the Society for the History of Technology—Albatross Committee (aerospace).

More information about the Prize and the journal can be found at:

Contact:Scott Sacknoff

The Sacknoff Prize for Space History