Press release – 7 October 2022:

Dutch astrophysicist receives the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal

One of the brightest stars in molecular astrophysics and astrochemistry research, Professor Ewine van Dishoeck from Leiden University, the Netherlands, received the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal today. The medal, which was founded by the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, was presented by HM The Queen at a dedicated event at the Carlsberg Academy in Copenhagen.

Ewine van Dishoeck is a pioneer in molecular astrophysics and astrochemistry and is among the most cited researchers in the field. The research by her and her group elucidates the impact of nanoscale atomic and molecular processes on the macroscopic structure of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems.

Ewine van Dishoeck’s work addresses some of the biggest questions posed by mankind: Are we alone in the Universe? How did our planet and the life on it originate? In her research, she addresses these questions on the solid scientific basis of atomic and molecular processes. Thus, her research draws a direct line from Niels Bohr’s seminal work on the Atomic Model to today’s astronomical exploration of foreign worlds forming around distant stars.

Through her work, Ewine van Dishoeck has continually pushed the technological frontiers for astronomical observations, spaceborne missions and laboratory experiments. She has played leading roles in the development of large ground- and space-based telescopes, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched on Christmas day 2021 and has since then been delivering astounding images of the Universe. In addition, she has served as President of the International Astronomical Union, representing more than 10,000 astronomers from close to 100 countries.

Ewine van Dishoeck is the thirteenth in the series of notable physicists and engineers to receive the medal, which was established in 1955 as a tribute to the Danish Nobel Laureate, Niels Bohr.

With the award, Ewine van Dishoeck joins a prominent group of recipients, as over the years the medal has been given to no fewer than ten Nobel laureates. Ewine van Dishoeck herself is a recipient of the Kavli Prize, which is awarded to honour outstanding scientific breakthroughs in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

This year’s award is a collaboration between the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Aarhus University and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. In addition to the recognition that the medal represents, the award is accompanied by a sum of EUR 100,000 donated by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Photos from the prize presentation
Download photos from the presentation of the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal.

Photo: Lars Svankjær

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Danish Society of Engineers, IDA
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