Biography Paul Delaney

Paul Delaney was born in South Australia and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia in 1978 and his Master of Science from the University of Victoria, British Columbia in 1981. Since that time, he has worked as a nuclear physicist for Atomic Energy of Canada and a support astronomer at McGraw Hill Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. 

He has been a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University since 1986. He is a Senior Lecturer teaching a variety of astronomy related courses to science and non-science students. In addition he is the Director of the campus Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory which offers a teaching laboratory environment as well as research opportunities for science students studying astronomy, and extensive Public Outreach programs to the community. Between 2002 and 2016 he was the Director of the Division of Natural Science, an academic unit that exposes nearly 12,000 undergraduate students annually to the world of science. He was the Master of Bethune College, one of York’s 8 undergraduate student Colleges, from 1994 until 2005. 

He is a passionate educator and delights in discussing the wonders of the universe with people of all ages. Along with his undergraduate student Observing Team, he coordinates an extensive Public Outreach program in astronomy including hosting a 1 hour internet radio program “YorkUniverse” every Monday evening (on He considers himself an amateur as well as professional astronomer and has been interested in astronomy and space science for as long as he can remember. 

He has been a member of various RASC Centres (Victoria, Winnipeg, Toronto) since 1980 and has served as the second Vice President of the Toronto Centre since 2009. 

He has been the recipient of York University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering Teaching Award (1991), a ‘top 10’ finalist in TV Ontario’s Best Lecturer competition (2005), a recipient of the York University President’s Teaching Award (2006), the winner of the Royal Canadian Institute’s 2010 Sanford Flemming Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the Public Understanding of Science amongst Canadians, the 2015 recipient of the Qilak Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society recognizing his ongoing commitment to the Public Awareness and Understanding of Astronomy, the 2016 University Professorship (essentially lifetime achievement) from York University and the 2017 Klumpke-Roberts award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific “For outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy”.