Prof Katherine Blundell OBE appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy

16 May 2019

Prof Katherine Blundell OBE appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Katherine Blundell OBE as Gresham Professor of Astronomy from 2019 in succession to Professor Joseph Silk.

Set up in 1597, with the idea to deliver free lectures to the public, Gresham College past Astronomy Professors have included Sir Christopher Wren, Heather Couper, Carolin Crawford, Sir Bernard Lovell, Robert Hooke and Sir Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow).

Professor Blundell is a Professor of Astrophysics here in the Department, with special interests in the evolution of active galaxies and their life cycles, the accretion of material near black holes, and the launch and propagation of relativistic jets (jets of plasma emitted by some black holes).

She is also a renowned science communicator and set up a worldwide network of five schools-based Global Jet Watch observatories, which collect data on evolving black hole systems and nova explosions in our Galaxy, helping to inspire the next generation of scientists in South Africa, Chile, Australia and India.

“It’s a privilege to help communicate our knowledge of the Universe to the public through the Gresham lectures. Gresham’s Astronomy Professors include many who have inspired me and, in turn, I hope to encourage others to discover more.”

As Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Katherine Blundell will continue the 421-year-old tradition of delivering free lectures aimed at the public within the City of London and beyond. During the academic year, Gresham College fills lecture halls for its lectures – a total of 130 a year. All Gresham lectures are live-streamed. More than 2,000 past lectures are freely available to view on the College’s website. The Astronomy Professorship is one of the original seven Gresham Professorships established in Sir Thomas Gresham’s will.

To find out more about the Professorship, and to book for the series of lectures that Prof Blundell will give from October onward, visit this link.