(From press release issued by the Royal Astronomical Society)
January 11, 2013
The Royal Astronomical Society has announced that Roger Blandford, director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University, has been awarded the society's 2013 Gold Medal for Astronomy on the basis of Blandford's varied and inspirational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, as well as his service to the astrophysics research community at an international level.
KIPAC Director Roger Blandford
The Gold Medals in Astronomy and Geophysics are the Society’s highest honours and are awarded annually for extraordinary lifetime achievement in these fields.
The Society stated, "Prof. Blandford is widely regarded as the outstanding all-round theoretical astrophysicist of his generation – a real intellectual leader and inspiration. His early work focussed on relativistic astrophysics and high-energy processes in the centres (nuclei) of galaxies. In the 1970s he did pioneering work on and helped to lay the basis for what is now the conventional model of the nature of cosmic jets. He also made key contributions to the study of relativistic effects in the compact remnants of massive stars (neutron stars) and close binary star systems and on the extraction of energy from black holes.
"Remaining at the forefront of research throughout his career, Prof. Blandford has become a leader in the analysis of gravitational lensing, an important tool for probing the nature of the as yet unidentified dark matter found throughout the universe.
"Prof. Blandford has achieved an international reputation not only for his original research, but also through the esteem in which his advice is held. Because of his dedication and personal qualities, he has therefore been involved in large numbers of advisory boards and committees, including working as the overall Chair of the most recent (2010) US Decadal Survey."
Each year the Society recognizes significant achievement in the fields of astronomy and geophysics through the Gold Medal and other awards. For the announcement of all winners, click here.