Astronomy award recognition for John Peacock

Congratulations to Professor Peacock who has received the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest honour for his contributions to cosmology.

The Royal Astronomical Society has announced the 2023 winners of its awards, medals and prizes in recognition of significant achievement, from research to education and outreach, in the fields of astronomy and geophysics.

The Society's highest honour, its Gold Medal in Astronomy, is awarded this year to Professor John Peacock of the University of Edinburgh, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to cosmology. His work ranges from studying the early abundance of galaxies with actively fuelled central supermassive black holes, to the formation of cosmological large-scale structure and its relation to the clustering of galaxies.

Many of Professor Peacock’s contributions have been made by combining insightful theoretical analysis with the results from observational programmes. The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey, which he co-led, found the first convincing evidence for the influence of pressure on fluctuations in the density of ‘normal’ matter in the universe, arising in the early cosmos after the Big Bang. This work was recognised by the award of the 2014 Shaw Prize.

Alongside his major contributions to cosmology, Professor Peacock has mentored generations of students and postdocs, and written a cosmology textbook which shaped the field.

Past winners of the Gold Medal in Astronomy include Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Arthur Eddington and Stephen Hawking.

The Royal Astronomical Society was founded in 1820 and encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science.