Categories: Astronomy

First Woman to Ever Win Canada’s Top Science Award is Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi

This is a big week in Canadian astrophysics. Dr. Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysics professor at McGill University, just won the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal. This is a $1 million prize (CDN, of course) awarded for “sustained excellence and overall influence of research work conducted in Canada in the natural sciences or engineering.”

And for the last 25 years, the award has gone to men. Chemistry men, biology men and even physics and astronomy men. It’s good to see that the cycle has been broken, and a woman has taken the award… finally.

For those of you who don’t know who Dr. Kaspi is, she’s one of the world’s leading researchers on neutron stars. We’ve written about her work many times.

The timing of this announcement couldn’t be more ideal. Much of Dr. Kaspi’s work has been to pin down Einstein’s predictions about gravitational waves through the interactions of binary pulsars and neutron stars. Now that gravitational waves have been detected directly by LIGO, the two research paths can start to share notes.

If you want more info on Dr. Kaspi and the award, check out this great article from Ivan Semeniuk.

But I think the best way to celebrate is just to watch her speak for an hour about how pulsars are the cosmic gifts that just keep on giving.

Fraser Cain

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

Recent Posts

Primordial Gravitational Waves Continue to Elude Astronomers

New observations put further constraints on primordial gravitational waves, but still haven't found them yet.

17 hours ago

The Early Solar System Had a Gap Where the Asteroid Belt is Today

Wind the cosmic clock back a few billion years and our Solar System looked much…

1 day ago

A map of River Beds on Titan for Dragonfly to Explore

Explorers either have the benefit of having maps or the burden of creating them.  Similarly,…

2 days ago

I Could Look at James Webb Unboxing Pictures all Day

Crews at the Guyanese Space Center recently "unboxed" the James Webb Space Telescope and are…

3 days ago

Uh oh, one of Lucy’s Solar Arrays Hasn’t Latched Properly

As we’re fond of saying here at UT, space exploration is hard. Many things can…

3 days ago

Meteorites Found With Little Pieces of Other Stars

When Carl Sagan said, “We are all made of star stuff,” he didn’t just mean…

3 days ago