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Astrogeology Scientists ranked in the top 2% of scientists in the world!

February 4, 2021

Several scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center (ASC) have been recognized among the top 2 percent scientists in the world according to a new study by experts at Stanford University.

The study, Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators was recently published in the PLOS Biology journal, 16 October 2020. The authors used common measures of impact (such as how many publications a scientist has and how often they are cited) to identify scientists who have had made significant contributions to the research community through their published work.  Several scientists from ASC were among this list of impactful scientists in the world.

Those recognized in the study were Drs. Baerbel Lucchitta (Scientist Emerita), Laszlo Keszthelyi, and Paul Geissler who are actively working at ASC, as well as retirees Drs. Gerry Schaber, Kenneth Tanaka, and Dr. Michael Carr who came on duty with the Branch of Astrogeology from Menlo Park, California.

The study shows these scientists are prominent in their respective scientific fields and have made a global impact with their research. The combined fields of expertise of ASC scientists recognized in the study include astronomy, meteorology, atmospheric and astrophysics sciences.

“Our mission is to help humanity understand our Solar System by maximizing the scientific and technological return from planetary missions through scientific research,” said Dr. Justin Hagerty, Director of the Astrogeology Science Center. “Our research is a component of science that is highly impactful to our mission as demonstrated by these scientists. I wish them congratulations on their well-deserved success.”

Information used to determine the nearly 160,000 top scientists was retrieved from a database created by experts at Stanford University, a team led by Professor loannidis, and from Scopus databases from the Elsevier publishing house. The study shows citation metrics were used based on the Hirsch and Schreiber index, and the number of citations to papers in different authorship positions, compiled into a single index, classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 subfields, and cover years from 1965 to 2019. More details about this study are available here.

While the scientists were honored to be on the list, some of them could not help but to express that another scientist they readily thought about was not listed in the study. “It is important to note that this is only one measure of scientific merit,” Dr. Paul Geissler said of the study, “and does not consider community service, leadership, teaching and mentorship, among other factors."


Meet the recognized scientists that are currently working at ASC:


Dr. Baerbel K. Lucchitta
Dr. Baerbel K. Lucchitta (Scientist Emeritus) wrote 44 papers between 1972-2013 with a c-score of 3.4 in the subject field of Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences, ranking 1,610 out of 54,940 total authors in the field.
Dr. Laszlo Keszthelyi
Dr. Laszlo Keszthelyi (aka Kestay) wrote 96 papers between 1993-2019 with a c-score of 3.5 in the subject field of Astronomy & Astrophysics Sciences, ranking 1,546 out of 42,624 total authors in the field. 


Dr. Paul Geissler
Dr. Paul Geissler wrote 96 papers between 1989-2019 with a c-score of 3.4 in the subject field of Astronomy & Astrophysics Sciences, ranking 1,606 out of 42,624 total authors in the field.