Princeton’s Neta Bahcall Honored by the American Astronomical Society

Neta Bahcall, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University, has been awarded, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, the highest honor bestowed by the American Astronomical Society. Professor Bahcall is the sixth woman to win the award. Her husband, who also taught at Princeton, won the honor in 1999.

The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship is awarded annually for “a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research.” Recipients of the honor give a public astronomy lecture that the society also publishes in one of its journals.

The society cited Professor Bahcall “for her central contributions to determining the average density of matter in the universe and establishing the concordance model of cosmology.” The award announcement also praised her “dedication to astronomical education” and her “exemplary service to the community.”

Dr. Bahcall came to Princeton in 1971 as the first female postdoctoral researcher in astrophysics and stayed on as a research scientist until 1983, when she left to lead the Hubble Space Telescope’s science team. She returned to Princeton in 1989 as a full professor. She has served as the director of undergraduate studies for Princeton’s department of astrophysical sciences since 1993.

Professor Bahcall was born in Israel. She received her Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University.

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