Zarnecki and Frenk are awarded Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medals

10 January 2014

Two IOP fellows are to receive the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) for 2014 – the highest honour that the RAS awards. The medals are given annually for extraordinary lifetime achievement, one each in astronomy and in geophysics.

Prof. John Zarnecki

Prof. John Zarnecki has been awarded the Gold Medal for Geophysics. Prof. Zarnecki is Professor of Space Science at the Open University and was recently elected to the IOP’s Council. He has been involved in space research for more than 30 years and is part of the team responsible for the Huygens Lander that touched down on Titan. He has given long and distinguished service both to the European and the UK space agencies.

Prof. Carlos Frenk

Prof. Carlos Frenk has been awarded the Gold Medal for Astronomy. Prof. Frenk is the Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics at the University of Durham. He is one of the originators of the Cold Dark Matter theory for the origin of galaxies and cosmic structures. Prof. Frenk has raised the international profile of UK astronomy and assisted the careers of a generation of young researchers. He was awarded the IOP’s Hoyle Medal in 2010. 

RAS awards also went to IOP member Prof. Louise Harra, of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, and IOP fellow Prof. George Fraser, director of the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester. Prof. Harra is to receive the Chapman Medal and Prof. Fraser is to receive the Jackson-Gwilt Medal.

All of the medals will be presented in June at the RAS’s National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth.

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