David Aguilar
(617) 495-7462

Christine Pulliam
(617) 495-7463


CfA Press Release
 Release No.: 02-18
For Immediate Release: July 23, 2002


Cambridge, MA -- Margaret Geller, a leading researcher at the Smithsonian AstrophysicalObservatory of Cambridge, Mass., has been awarded La Medaille de l'ADION for the year 2002 byl'Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in Nice, France. She received this award in recognition of her"eminent contributions to the study of the structure and evolution of systems of galaxies."

Hans Scholl, President of l'ADION, also cited Geller's work for its "important impact on the researchundertaken at l'Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur."

Geller's work on systems of galaxies connects their current properties to their history. She was apioneer in mapping the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies in space and showed that galaxiesmark the surface of gigantic "bubbles." Geller made two educational films about mapping the universe;"Where the Galaxies Are" received a CINE Gold Eagle. She has authored or co-authored more than160 research papers. In 1990, Geller was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularlyknown as the "Genius Grant."

La Medaille de l'ADION has been awarded annually since 1963 to a scientist whose work has had asignificant impact on research at l'Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, as well as on the field of astronomyas a whole. The medal recipient is chosen by an international committee made up of seven eminentscientists. Previous recipients include Bart Bok (known for his work on star formation and the structureof the Milky Way), Margaret Burbidge (known for her work on galaxies and quasars), Jan Oort (whofirst measured the mass of the Milky Way), Fred Hoyle (who first figured out how elements are made instars), Allan Sandage (well known for his work on determining the Hubble Constant), Charles Townes(who invented the maser), and Michel Mayor (co-discoverer of the first planet around another star).

For more information, contact:

David A. Aguilar
Director of Public Affairs
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Christine Lafon
Public Affairs Specialist
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Phone: 617-495-7463, Fax: 617-495-7016

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