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Cowie Elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Lennox Cowie. Photo by A. S. Cowie.

On May 27, the Royal Society elected IfA astronomer Lennox L. Cowie a fellow of the society. He was one of 60 new fellows selected this year for their contributions to science, engineering, and technology. The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the United Kingdom dedicated to promoting excellence in science. A fellowship of the Royal Society is one of the most prestigious honors a British research scientist can achieve.

Cowie is a versatile astrophysicist who has made leading contributions across a wide range of theoretical and observational areas. His early work on energy transport processes in diffuse gaseous environments helped shape our understanding of the interstellar gas as a dynamic, multiphase medium. More recently, he has become interested in observational cosmology. He has produced major catalogs of galaxies using optical, near-infrared, submillimeter, and radio measurements to investigate the cosmic evolution of various physical processes in galaxies. He has also used these data to assess the contributions of galaxies in different phases of their evolution to the background light we measure at X-ray, optical, and infrared wavelengths.

Cowie completed his undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University and his doctorate at Harvard. He had appointments at Princeton, MIT, and the Space Telescope Science Institute before joining the faculty at UH-Manoa. He was IfA associate director from 1986 to 1997. Other honors Cowie has received include the Bok Prize at Harvard, the Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and the UH Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research.

The Royal Society, one of the oldest scientific societies in the world, was founded in 1660. Early presidents of the Society include Sir Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, and Sir Isaac Newton.