University professor joins Einstein, Babbage and Hubble on the science A-list

Professor Carlos Frenk
Professor Carlos Frenk
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A DURHAM professor is following in the footsteps of Einstein after receiving one of the highest honours in his field.

Professor Carlos Frenk, Durham University’s Ogden professor of Fundamental Physics, and director of Durham’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, ICC, has received the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for Astronomy.

Previous recipients of the medal include Charles Babbage, who originated the concept of the programmable computer, American astronomer Edwin Hubble, whose research implied the universe is expanding, and Albert Einstein, famous for developing the theory of relativity.

Professor Frenk is one of the world’s foremost researchers behind the theory of cold dark matter – a substance believed to make up 85 per cent of the mass of the universe and thought to be one of the building blocks of galaxy formation.

Under his leadership the ICC has also become an internationally-renowned centre for research into the origin and evolution of the universe, attracting leading researchers and the best students from around the world to Durham.

Professor Frenk, who has co-authored more than 300 scientific papers, said: “It is, of course, a huge honour to be awarded a medal whose history goes back to 1824. To see my name listed alongside those of scientists whom I have admired all my life is a unique feeling.”

Having spent most of his working life at Durham University, he said the medal is recognition of the scientific contribution he and others have collectively made.