Professor Catherine Heymans, a world-leading expert on the physics of the so-called dark universe, has been awarded the prestigious title of Astronomer Royal for Scotland, a title which dates back almost 200 years. Created in 1834, the position of Astronomer Royal for Scotland was originally held by the director of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. Since 1995, however, it has been awarded as an honorary title. The previous holder, Professor John C Brown, passed away in 2019.
Prof Heymans was recommended to the Queen for the role by an international panel, convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She is Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the German Centre for Cosmological Lensing at Ruhr-University Bochum. Her research seeks to shed light on the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter – elusive entities that together account for more than 95 per cent of the Universe.
Once that spark and connection with the Universe is made,