Press Release

European Astronomical Society Announces 2020 Prizes

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2020
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The European Astronomical Society (EAS) is pleased to announce today the awardees of its 2020 Prizes. Summaries appear below. The complete press release, with images, is available as a 5-megabyte PDF document:

Tycho Brahe Medal (

The 2020 Tycho Brahe Medal is awarded to Prof. Stefano Vitale (University of Trento, Italy) for leading the LISA Pathfinder mission which has demonstrated with extraordinary precision the technology required for the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna whose fundamental aim is to observe low frequency gravitational waves from space.

Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture (

The 2020 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to Prof. Alvio Renzini (National Institute of Astrophysics, Astronomical Observatory of Padova, Italy) for his key contributions to the understanding of stars, stellar populations and the evolution of galaxies and his essential contributions to the success of ESO in his role as VLT Programme Scientist.

Fritz Zwicky Prize for Astrophysics & Cosmology (

The Inaugural Fritz Zwicky Prize for Astrophysics & Cosmology is awarded to Prof. Martin J. Rees (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) for outstanding contributions to astrophysics and cosmology including seminal papers on active galaxies and black holes, the origin of gamma-ray bursts, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the cosmic microwave background. This exceptionally broad oeuvre has been both prescient and enormously influential.

MERAC Prizes for Best PhD Thesis (

Theoretical Astrophysics: Dr. Aris Tritsis (Australian National University, Australia) for fundamental contributions to the physics of the interstellar medium and the process of star formation.

Observational Astrophysics: to Dr. Jorryt Matthee (ETH Zürich, Switzerland) for spectacular results that have transformed the way we see and understand distant galaxies across time.

New Technologies (Instrumental): to Dr. Concepción Cárdenas Vázquez (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Germany) for her leadership and creative work in instrumentation, from the conceptual design and the feasibility study to the final integration and verification, both in the laboratory and at the telescope, related to the instrument PANIC.

All six awardees will give a plenary lecture at the European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting 2020 to be held in Leiden, the Netherlands, from 29 June to 3 July 2020 (

Dr. Marc Audard
EAS Executive Secretary
+41 22 379 21 66

SpaceRef staff editor.