Ewine van Dishoeck and Peter Hagoort receive prestigious prize from Dutch Academy of Sciences
This year, the Academy Professor prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
is awarded to Ewine van Dishoeck, professor in molecular astrophysics at Leiden University and
external scientific member of the MPE, and Peter Hagoort, professor of cognitive neurosciences
at the Radboud University Nijmegen. The prizes, both 1 Million Euro, are meant as a lifetime
achievement award for scientists that have proven that they are at the very top of their discipline.
There are two annual prizes: one in the social sciences and humanities, the other in the natural and
technical sciences. The awards ceremony will take place on 21 June 2012.
Ewine van Dishoeck
Copyright: University Leiden
Ewine van Dishoeck studies the chemistry of the Universe. The space between the stars is not empty
but filled with very tenuous and very cold clouds, such as the dark regions seen on images of the
Orion nebula. Van Dishoeck studies the molecules that are found there: known molecules such as
hydrogen and carbon monoxide but also more exotic species that hardly exist on Earth. Special
attention is paid to regions in which clouds collapse to form new stars and to the dusty disks
around young stars in which planets are currently being formed. For her research she uses ESO's
Very Large Telescope and, in the near future, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, at 5000 metres
altitude. Her current projects are focused on water in space and the role that water plays
in the formation of stars and planets like our own, using the Herschel Space Observatory.
Detection of water in a star forming region of the Milky Way, located some 3300 light years away from Earth.
Copyright: University Leiden
Van Dishoeck is an internationally renowned researcher who shaped the young field of astrochemistry.
She plays a leading role in the organisation of international projects and collaborations, and
enthusiastically presents her complex research to the general public. Since 1995, Ewine van
Dishoeck is professor of molecular astrophysics at Leiden University and since 2008 External
Scientific Member of the MPE. She is also scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for
Astronomy (NOVA) and leads the WISH project: Water in Star-forming Regions with Herschel. She studied
chemistry and mathematics and then did her PhD at the boundary of astronomy and chemistry in Leiden,
after which she went to Harvard, Princeton and Caltech. Van Dishoeck is the most cited molecular
astrophysicist in the world. She received a number of other prizes, including the 2000 Spinoza prize.
Home page of Ewine van Dishoeck
WISH outreach page
Announcement of the KNAW
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
and Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics
Phone: +49 89 30000-3980