Aarhus Universitets segl

InterCat PI, Ewine van Dishoeck, receives the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal

Ewine van Dishoeck has received the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal from HM The Queen at Carlsberg Academy

Ewine van Dishoeck

One of the brightest stars in molecular astrophysics and astrochemistry research, Professor Ewine van Dishoeck from Leiden University, the Netherlands, received the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal today. The medal, which was founded by the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, was presented by HM The Queen at a dedicated event at the Carlsberg Academy in Copenhagen.

Ewine van Dishoeck is a pioneer in molecular astrophysics and astrochemistry and is among the most cited researchers in the field. The research by her and her group elucidates the impact of nanoscale atomic and molecular processes on the macroscopic structure of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems.

Ewine van Dishoeck’s work addresses some of the biggest questions posed by mankind: Are we alone in the Universe? How did our planet and the life on it originate? In her research, she addresses these questions on the solid scientific basis of atomic and molecular processes. Thus, her research draws a direct line from Niels Bohr’s seminal work on the Atomic Model to today’s astronomical exploration of foreign worlds forming around distant stars.

Ewine van Dishoeck has strong ties to Danish research and is a part of the Center for Interstellar Catalysis led by Professor Liv Hornekær at Aarhus University. Researchers in the center work together with the aim of uncovering whether the molecular building blocks of life – amino acids, DNA bases, sugars and fatty acids - can form in interstellar space even before the formation of stars and planets.

Through her work, Ewine van Dishoeck has continually pushed the technological frontiers for astronomical observations, spaceborne missions and laboratory experiments. She has played leading roles in the development of large ground- and space-based telescopes, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched on Christmas day 2021 and has since then been delivering astounding images of the Universe. In addition, she has served as President of the International Astronomical Union, representing more than 10,000 astronomers from close to 100 countries.

Ewine van Dishoeck is the thirteenth in the series of notable physicists and engineers to receive the medal, which was established in 1955 as a tribute to the Danish Nobel Laureate, Niels Bohr.

With the award, Ewine van Dishoeck joins a prominent group of recipients, as over the years the medal has been given to no fewer than ten Nobel laureates. Ewine van Dishoeck herself is a recipient of the Kavli Prize, which is awarded to honour outstanding scientific breakthroughs in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

This year’s award is a collaboration between the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Aarhus University and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. In addition to the recognition that the medal represents, the award is accompanied by a sum of EUR 100,000 donated by the Carlsberg Foundation.

To learn more about the medal and this year’s recipient, please visit: https://bohrmedal.com/