Jules Janssen Prize awarded to Ewine van Dishoeck

January 14, 2021

On 8 January 2021, the société astronomique de France (the French Astronomical Society – SAF) awarded the Jules Janssen Prize to Dr. Ewine F. van Dishoeck, External Scientific Member of the MPE, for her outstanding scientific achievements.

The astronomer Jules Janssen (1824-1907) served as SAF President between 1895 and 1897. During his tenure, he created a number of awards including the Janssen Prize, which has been given annually by SAF since 1897. This prize is awarded alternately to a French astronomer and a foreign astronomer for their outstanding scientific work, as well as for their promotion of astronomy to the public. Previous recipients include, among others, Albert Einstein (1931), Reinhard Genzel (2000), and Françoise Combes (2017).

Ewine F. van Dishoeck was born in Leiden, Netherlands in 1955. She is Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden University, since 2007 the scientific Director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) as well as External Scientific Member of the MPE, and President of the IAU for the 2018-2021 triennium. After completing her PhD at Leiden in 1984, Dr. van Dishoeck held positions in the United States (Harvard, Princeton and Caltech Universities) before returning to Leiden in 1990. Her research is pioneering in observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, shedding light on the chemistry of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets. She was also strongly involved in the planning and the use of new observing facilities such as Herschel and ALMA. Dr. van Dishoeck was awarded several prizes, amongst them the Spinoza Prize in 2000, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2015 and the Kavli Prize in 2018.

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