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2016 Bruce Gold Medal Announcement

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is proud to award the 2016 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal to Dr. Andrew Fabian

Dr. Fabian is a Professor of Astronomy and the current Director of the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) at the University of Cambridge. He obtained his PhD at the University of London in 1972, joined the IoA in 1973, and was a Royal Society Research Professor at the IoA from 1982 to 2013.

Dr. Fabian is an expert in high-energy astrophysics and has helped define the entire field of extragalactic X-ray astrophysics. He has made several fundamental contributions to our understanding of the physics of galaxy cluster cores and the X-ray emission from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Dr. Fabian developed the techniques to probe the innermost regions of AGNs to determine the properties of the supermassive black holes in the centers of these galaxies. In 2001 he was jointly awarded the Bruno Rossi Prize by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society for the discovery, using the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics, of broad iron K-lines in active galactic nuclei, which demonstrate the effects of the strong gravitational field characteristic of black holes.

Dr. Fabian has also pioneered our understanding of cooling flows of gas in massive elliptical galaxies and clusters of galaxies. He developed the theory that explains these flows, and during the past few decades has led numerous observational programs aimed at refining the theory. He has published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers during his career — an absolutely astounding number. He has supervised more than 50 PhD students and numerous Post-Doctoral Fellows. As one of his nominators said: “Andy has changed the course of modern astrophysics, prepared a new generation to follow, and engaged the public while doing so.”

The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal was established by Catherine Wolfe Bruce, an American philanthropist and patroness of astronomy. It is given annually by the ASP to a professional astronomer in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement and contributions to astrophysics research. It was first awarded in 1898 to Simon Newcomb. Previous recipients of the Bruce Medal include Giovanni V. Schiaparelli (1902), Edwin Hubble (1938), Fred Hoyle (1970), and Vera Rubin (2003).