Royal Astronomical Society recognises Leicester academics

Our University is associated with two prestigious prizes announced today by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

Professor Clive Ruggles, Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, and a project led by Professor Mark Lester, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, have been recognised.

Professor Ruggles is the first winner of the RAS Agnes Mary Clerke Medal, a new medal introduced this year for outstanding achievement in research into the history of astronomy or geophysics.

Professor Ruggles said: "I am overwhelmed and absolutely delighted at the award of the RAS's new History Medal. Interdisciplinary areas of research are always challenging, especially when they cut across two disciplines as diverse as archaeology and astronomy, but it has been a privilege to work in an emerging field that generates such wide interest, not to mention controversy. This award is quite unexpected and it is a huge honour."

The Group Achievement Award for achievement by a large consortium in geophysics has been awarded to SuperDARN. Professor Lester is Chair of the SuperDARN executive council and currently leads the project.

Professor Lester said: “I am delighted that the RAS have made this award to the SuperDARN team. It recognises the scientific and technical achievements of over 200 researchers and engineers who contributed to the project. It is a pleasure to work with such a talented team and the project represents the best traditions of international scientific collaboration.”

Each year the RAS recognises significant achievement in the fields of astronomy and geophysics through these awards. The announcements were made at the Ordinary Meeting of the society held on Friday 13 January 2017. The winners will be invited to collect their awards at the Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Hull in July.