May 10, 2023
Wendy Freedman, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, has been elected to the Royal Society, a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. This year, 59 scientists from around the world were elected Fellows or Foreign Members of the Society for their outstanding contributions to science.
Freedman is an observational cosmologist renowned for her research on the Hubble Constant–the rate at which the universe is expanding over time. Two decades ago, she led a team of 30 astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the universe, resolving a longstanding debate regarding previously wide-ranging estimates. Freedman served as the founding chair of the board of directors from 2003 to 2015 for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Presently, her interest is directed at increasing the accuracy of measurements of the expansion rate using the James Webb Space Telescope and testing whether there is new fundamental early-universe physics missing from the current standard model of cosmology.
She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society. Her honors also include the Gruber Cosmology Prize.