American Philosophical Society
Member History

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101. Astronomy[X]
1Name:  Dr. Jacques Blamont
 Institution:  University of Paris IV; Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales
 Year Elected:  2002
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  April 13, 2020
   
 
A distinguished scholar, leader of space research and commander of the Legion of Honor, Jacques Blamont was an internationally recognized scientist and Professor at the University of Paris - VI and Conseiller du President du CNES. He pioneered planetary exploration, leading CNES in mission design and planning, including joint efforts with the USSR. He promoted a rapprochement between the U.S. and USSR in troubled times. Working with NASA, Dr. Blamont exhibited remarkable creativeness in the design of space vehicles, scientific instruments and research approaches. His work and guidance have proven of enormous benefit to the United States. A broad intellectual, he wrote an almost poetical work on the evolution of science. His publications include Vénus dévoilée, Voyage autour d'une planète (1987); Le Chiffre et le Songe, Histoire politique de la découverte (1993); Le Lion et le Moucheron, Histoire des Marrances de Toulouse (2000); and Introduction au Siècle des Menaces (2004). Jacques Blamont died April 13, 2020 in Chatillon, France at the age of 93.
 
2Name:  Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell
 Institution:  University of Oxford; Royal Society of Edinburgh; Trinity College Dublin
 Year Elected:  2016
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1943
   
 
Jocelyn Bell Burnell is widely recognized as the individual responsible for the 1967 discovery of pulsars. With skill and perseverance she overcame the skepticism and resistance of her senior colleagues to make one of the most important and dramatic discoveries in 20th century astrophysics. In 2018 her essential role in the discovery was recognized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation with a Special Breakthrough Prize. Bell Burnell donated the associated prize money to the Institute of Physics to support scholarships for individuals from underrepresented groups. Later in her career she worked in infrared, X-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics. More recently she turned her attention to education including the public understanding of science where according to the Royal Society, her contribution "has been uniquely valuable." The Royal Society web site refers to Jocelyn Bell Burnell as "one of the most influential scientists in the UK." She was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018.
 
3Name:  Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck
 Institution:  Leiden Observatory, Leiden University; International Astronomical Union
 Year Elected:  2020
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1955
   
 
Ewine van Dishoeck is professor of molecular astrophysics at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Graduated from Leiden in 1984, she held positions at Harvard, Princeton and Caltech before returning to Leiden in 1990. The work of her group innovatively combines the world of chemistry with that of physics and astronomy to study the molecular trail from star-forming clouds to planet-forming disks. She has mentored several dozens of students and postdocs and has been heavily involved in planning of new observational facilities such as the Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. Her awards include the 2000 Dutch Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific honor in the Netherlands, the 2015 Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the 2018 James Craig Watson Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, and the 2018 Kavli Prize for Astrophysics. She is a Member or Foreign Associate of several academies, including that of the Netherlands, USA, Germany and Norway. Since 2007, she is the scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). From 2018-2021, van Dishoeck serves as the president of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the worldwide organization of professional astronomers. van Dishoeck has a passion for outreach to the general public and a special interest in art and astronomy. In 2019, she co-curated an exhibition on Cosmos: Art & Knowledge. Ewine van Dishoeck was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society in 2020.
 
4Name:  Dr. Ronald D. Ekers
 Institution:  CSIRO, Australia Telescope National Facility
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
   
 
Professor Ron Ekers was appointed Foundation Director of CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility in 1988 and he continued in this role until March 2003, when he took up his Federation Fellowship. He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1963 and gained his Ph.D. in astronomy at the Australian National University in 1967. His professional career has taken him to the California Institute of Technology, the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge, UK, the Kapteyn Laboratory in Groningen, The Netherlands, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico. He was director of the VLA, the major national radio telescope in the USA, from 1980 until 1987. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a Foreign Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science and a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society. He is the president of the International Astronomical Union. Dr. Ekers's research interests include extragalactic astronomy, especially cosmology, galactic nuclei and radio astronomical techniques.
 
5Name:  Sir Fred Hoyle
 Institution:  University of Cambridge
 Year Elected:  1980
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1915
 Death Date:  August 20, 2001
   
6Name:  Dr. Hendrik C. van de Hulst
 Institution:  Huygens Observatory, The Netherlands
 Year Elected:  1960
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1918
 Death Date:  July 31, 2000
   
7Name:  Sir Bernard Lovell
 Institution:  University of Manchester & Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories, Jodrell Bank
 Year Elected:  1974
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1913
 Death Date:  August 6, 2012
   
 
Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell was a British radio astronomer and former director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory. He studied physics at the University of Bristol, obtaining a Ph.D. in 1936. At the University of Manchester, he worked on the cosmic ray research team until the outbreak of World War II, during which time he worked for the Telecommunications Research Establishment developing radar systems to be installed in aircraft, for which he received an OBE in 1946. Lovell attempted to continue his cosmic ray work with an ex-military radar unit, and following interference from trams on Manchester's Oxford Road, he moved to Jodrell Bank. There he was able to show that radar echoes could be obtained from daytime meteor showers, and he subsequently constructed the then largest steerable radiotelescope in the world, which now bears his name; upon its completion in 1957 it was used to track the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. Lovell was knighted in 1961 for his important contributions to the development of radio astronomy. A secondary school is also named for him in his home village of Oldland. Lovell's other honors include the Royal Medal of the Royal Society (1960) and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1981). He was Professor of Radio Astronomy Emeritus at the University of Manchester, with which he had been affiliated since 1951. Sir Bernard Lovell died August 6, 2012, at the age of 98 at his home in Swettenham Village, England.
 
8Name:  Dr. Jan H. Oort
 Year Elected:  1957
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1900
 Death Date:  11/5/92
   
9Name:  Dr. Manuel Peimbert
 Institution:  Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
 Year Elected:  2002
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
   
 
Manuel Peimbert is an outstanding research worker on gaseous nebulae and the abundances of the elements in the universe. An expert theorist and a practiced observer, he has combined his skills to analyze the structure, densities, temperatures, abundances, and other physical properties of nebulae. Dr. Peimbert has traced the effects of stellar evolution on the abundances of the elements in interstellar matter from which new stars are formed today. His careful studies of the He/H abundance ratio have helped to set narrower constraints on physical conditions for the "big bang." Dr. Peimbert is considered a world expert in his field and one of the most productive scientists in Mexico. His papers are widely quoted. He has been a professor at the Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, since 1970.
 
10Name:  Lord Martin Rees
 Institution:  University of Cambridge
 Year Elected:  1993
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1942
   
 
Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and also Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at Leicester University. After studying at the University of Cambridge, he held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a fellow of King's College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge (continuing in the latter post until 1991) and served for ten years as director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. From 1992 to 2003 he was a Royal Society Research Professor. He is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy, and several other foreign academies. His awards include the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Balzan International Prize, the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (AAS/AIP), the Bower Award for Science of the Franklin Institute, the Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation, the Einstein Award of the World Cultural Council, the Crafoord Prize (Royal Swedish Academy), the Lewis Thomas Prize (2009) from Rockefeller University in recognition of his book Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe (2000), the 2011 Templeton Prize, and the 2012 Isaac Newton medal of the Institute of Physics. He has been president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1994-95) and the Royal Astronomical Society (1992-94) and a trustee of the British Museum, NESTA and the Kennedy Memorial Trust. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Science and Industry the Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, and has served on many bodies connected with education, space research, arms control and international collaboration in science. In 2005 he was appointed to the House of Lords and elected President of the Royal Society. He is the author or co-author of more than 500 research papers, mainly on astrophysics and cosmology, and of numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects. He is the author of several books, including From Here to Infinity: Scientific Horizons (2011) and On the Future (2018). He has broadcast and lectured widely and held various visiting professorships, etc. His main current research interests are high energy astrophysics, cosmic structure formation and general cosmological issues.
 
11Name:  Dr. Bengt G.D Strömgren
 Year Elected:  1973
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1908
 Death Date:  7/4/87
   
12Name:  Dr. Rashid Alievich Sunyaev
 Institution:  Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany; Russian Space Research Institute
 Year Elected:  2007
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1943
   
 
Rashid Alievich Sunyaev is director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and chief scientist of the Russian Academy of Sciences's Space Research Institute. Hailing from the former Asian Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, he became one of the most important and prolific members of the Moscow group that pioneered relativistic astrophysics. Together with its leader Yakov Zel'dovich, he studied the relic radiation from the Big Bang, formulating the so-called Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, which has led to early tests of cosmological models that are still valid and which have provided impetus to one of the most active areas of observational cosmology. Through continuing collaborations around the globe, Sunyaev has served as a particularly effective scientific bridge between East and West. In 2010, he was appointed to a three year term as the Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to the 2008 Crafoord prize, he has received a range of awards including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1995), the Gruber Cosmology Prize (2003), the Heineman Prize in Astrophysics (2003), the King Faisal International Prize for Science (2009), the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (2011), and the Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute (2012). He is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 2007.
 
13Name:  Dr. J. Paul Wild
 Institution:  CSIRO Australia
 Year Elected:  1962
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1923
 Death Date:  May 10, 2008
   
 
Australian radio astronomer J. Paul Wild was the first person to recognize the true nature of radio noise originating in solar disturbances. An ingenious experimentalist and excellent interpreter of observational data, he was affiliated with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization for over sixty years, serving as chairman (1978-85), chief of the division of radiophysics (1971-77) and chief research officer in charge of solar research (1961-71). He held an M.A. degree from Cambridge, was awarded the 1984 ANZAAS Medal and was a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The Paul Wild Observatory in Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia is named in his honor. Dr. Wild died on May 10, 2008, in Australia, at the age of 85.
 
14Name:  Sir Robert Wilson
 Institution:  University College of London
 Year Elected:  1996
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  101. Astronomy
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1938
 Death Date:  September 2, 2002
   
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