Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics Co-Editor Ewine van Dishoeck Wins Kavli Prize, NAS Medal

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.13.24.pngCongratulations to Ewine van Dishoeck, of Leiden University, who won the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics and the National Academy of Science James Craig Watson Medal.

The Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Astrophysics received the Kavli Prize “for her combined contributions to observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, elucidating the life cycle of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets.”

The James Craig Watson Medal was awarded to her “for improving our understanding of how molecules, stars, and planets form.”

Dr. van Dishoeck has co-edited the journal with Sandra Faber since 2010. You can find her articles about planet, star, and molecule formation here.

Vera Rubin, Who Proved Dark Matter’s Existence, Dies

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-13-54-41Dr. Rubin stood as a constant reminder of the sexism that is still such a problem in many scientific fields. There were petitions and protests and demands that she be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for her discoveries, and now she never will be.

This is how the autobiographical article she wrote for the 2011 Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics begins:

My life has been an interesting voyage. I became an astronomer because I could not imagine living on Earth and not trying to understand how the Universe works. My scientific career has revolved around observing the motions of stars within galaxies and the motions of galaxies within the Universe. In 1965, if you were very lucky and interested in using telescopes, you could walk into a research laboratory that was building instruments that reduced exposure times by a factor of 10 and end up making remarkable discoveries. Women generally required more luck and perseverance than men did.

The full text is available for free:

MIT Astrophysicist Sara Seager Profiled in NYTimes

Sara Seager, astrophysicist and planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and contributing author of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, was interviewed in The New York Times Magazine of Dec. 7, 2016.aa480631-f16

Dr. Seager’s work has taken her to seek exoplanets—planets that orbit stars outside our own solar system—and, more specifically, exoplanets that would share characteristics with Earth. A rocky planet that would be far enough from its star that its water would be liquid and life on it possible.

Her research allowed for the discovery of the first exoplanet atmosphere. Using light, she is able to identify the elements and gases that exist in these atmospheres. The ultimate goal, she says, is to determine whether we are alone in the universe.

Read Dr. Seager’s article for the 2010 Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics:

Seven Annual Reviews Authors Win Breakthrough Prizes

The 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to Kip S. Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), and Rainer Weiss, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They lead the LIGO Project with CalTech’s Ronald W.P. Drever, also a recipient of the prize, and they share this honor with the other 1012 who were part of this research. Together they were the first to detect the gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein.

Find Dr. Thorne’s article in the 1972 Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics:

Find Dr. Weiss’ article in the 1980 Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics:

Five Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences were awarded in 2017, to the following laureates:

Stephen Elledge, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “for elucidating how eukaryotic cells sense and respond to damage in their DNA and providing insights into the development and treatment of cancer.”

Dr. Elledge is scheduled to write an article for the 2017 Annual Review of Cancer Biology.

Harry F. Noller, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, “for discovering the centrality of RNA in forming the active centers of the ribosome, the fundamental machinery of protein synthesis in all cells, thereby connecting modern biology to the origin of life and also explaining how many natural antibiotics disrupt protein synthesis.”

Find Dr. Noller’s articles in the Annual Review of Biochemistry:

Roeland Nusse, of Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, “for pioneering research on the Wnt pathway, one of the crucial intercellular signaling systems in development, cancer and stem cell biology.”

Find Dr. Nusse’s articles in the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology:

• Yoshinori Ohsumi, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, “for elucidating autophagy, the recycling system that cells use to generate nutrients from their own inessential or damaged components.” This comes two months after Dr. Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Find Dr. Ohsumi’s articles in the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology:

Huda Y. Zoghbi, of the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, “for discoveries of the genetic causes and biochemical mechanisms of spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome, findings that have provided insight into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neurological diseases.”

Find Dr. Zoghby’s articles in the Annual Review of Neuroscience, the Annual Review of Physiology, and the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics: