The Institute for Advanced Study has appointed Dutch astronomer and chemist Ewine Fleur van Dishoeck to its Board of Trustees, effective May 5, 2018. Van Dishoeck is Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at the University of Leiden, External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Scientific Director of the Netherlands Research School of Astronomy, and President-Elect of the International Astronomical Union.
Van Dishoeck, who was nominated by the Institute’s School of Natural Sciences, succeeds Jeffrey A. Harvey, Enrico Fermi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and a Trustee since 2013.
Van Dishoeck is a leading astrochemist who has been a pioneer of employing molecules to study star and planet formation and understand the universe at the atomic level. Her research has led to key discoveries on how interstellar molecules form, change, and become part of planetary systems. She has developed molecular tools that have become widely used by the scientific community in the field of molecular astrophysics, and she has been involved in developing next-generation instruments, such as the Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile.
After earning a B.Sc. in Chemistry, a B.Sc. in Mathematics, an M.Sc. in Chemistry, and a Ph.D. from the University of Leiden, van Dishoeck came to the Institute as a Visitor in the School of Natural Sciences from 1984–88. She taught at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology before returning in 1990 to the University of Leiden, where in 2012 she was honored with the inaugural title of Faculty Professor, a role in which she serves as a spokesperson for science.
Among other honors, van Dishoeck has been awarded the Maria Goeppert Mayer Award of the American Physical Society, the Bourke Award of the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry, the Spinoza Prize of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science of the World Cultural Council, and the James Craig Watson Medal of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a member of both the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.