University of Hawaii Instutute for Astronomy

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IfA Publications

Press Release:

July 23 , 2004


Dr. Lennox Cowie

Mrs. Karen Rehbock

Institute for Astronomy
Director's office
2680 Woodlawn Drive Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Telephone: (808) 956-8566
Fax: (808) 946-3467

UH Astronomer Elected Fellow
of the British Royal Society



Lennox Cowie

Lennox L. Cowie



The British Royal Society elected Lennox L. Cowie as a fellow of the Society on May 27.  An astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, Cowie was one of the 44 new fellows selected this year for their contributions to science, engineering, and technology.  The Royal Society is dedicated to promoting excellence in science and is the national scientific academy of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth.  A fellowship of the Royal Society is one of the most prestigious honors a British scientist can achieve.

Upon learning of Cowie's election to the Royal Society, IfA Director Rolf-Peter Kudritzki remarked that he was "extremely pleased that one of the IfA's faculty members has received this honor" and "it shows that the Institute's faculty is of the highest caliber possible".  Kudritzki continued by saying that he holds Cowie in the "highest esteem as a researcher".

Dr. Cowie is a versatile astrophysicist who has made leading contributions across a wide range of theoretical and observational areas.  His early work on energy transport processes in diffuse gaseous environments helped shape our understanding of the interstellar gas as a dynamic, multiphase medium.  More recently, he has become interested in observational cosmology.  He has produced major catalogs of galaxies using optical, near-infrared, submillimeter, and radio measurements to investigate the cosmic evolution of various physical processes in galaxies.  He has also used these data to assess the contributions of galaxies in different phases of their evolution to the background light that is measured at X-ray, optical, and infrared wavelengths.

Cowie completed his undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University and received his Ph.D. at Harvard University.  He held appointments at Princeton, MIT, and the Space Telescope Science Institute before joining the the faculty at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1986.  He was the associate director of the Institute for Astronomy from 1986 to 1997.  Other major honors Cowie has received include the Bok Prize at Harvard University, the prestigious Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and the UH Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research.

The British Royal Society is one of the oldest scientific societies in the world, dating from 1660.  Early presidents of the Society include Sir Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, and Sir Isaac Newton.

The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun.  Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea.  Refer to for more information about the Institute.

Note to Editors:  A high-resolution image of Dr. Cowie is available at  (12 Mb)




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