Kosmic Kudos

Winter 2010

Vicky Kaspi (standing, left) with members of her pulsar research group

Vicky Kaspi, McGill’s Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, is fast becoming one of the University’s most honoured scientists. In 2010, Kaspi was bestowed a number of accolades, including being named to the Royal Society, the world’s oldest and most respected continuous scientific academy. Founded in 1660, it is the United Kingdom’s national academy of science. Other McGill professors elected to its ranks include neuroscientist Brenda Milner and chemistry professor Allan Hay.

Earlier in the year, Kaspi was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a scientist in that country. The Academy’s 2,000-strong membership list speaks for itself—Kaspi joins 180 living Nobel Prize winners and household names such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison. Kaspi and 71 others will be formally inducted into the Academy during its 148th annual meeting in Washington, D.C in April 2011.

This followed a 2010 Killam Research Fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts that she won for her research on magnetars. She joins this year’s elite group of eight outstanding Canadian researchers.

Kaspi is a world-renowned physicist known for her cutting-edge work on neutron stars, pulsars and supernovae remnants. In 2005, Kaspi and her team discovered the fastest-rotating pulsar known to science and more than 20 pulsars in a single star cluster in the Milky Way. Most recently, her team was the first to witness a cosmic act of recycling involving a dying pulsar.

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