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MSU’s Donahue Elected American Astronomical Society President

Megan Donahue

Megan Donahue, Michigan State University professor of physics and astrophysics in the College of Natural Science (NatSci), has been elected president of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

The AAS is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its mission, to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe, is accomplished through service to its membership, development, rigorous peer review, and dissemination of scientific innovation and discovery, and strong advocacy of science at the national level.

“I am honored to be elected AAS president, and my task will be to humbly serve the organization and its mission to the best of my abilities,” Donahue said. “I have advised both NASA and ground-based observatories, and am passionate about research and education. I believe science and society benefit from open communication and the trust that results from those exchanges of perspectives. The Earth as a pale blue dot is a powerful image of fragility but also hope. We can make a difference if we work together.”

Donahue is an expert in galaxies and galaxy clusters. She is interested in cluster evolution, not only in finding clusters but also in how they are found. She studies the ecology of the cluster systems—the gas between the galaxies, how it falls into galaxies and makes stars and feeds black holes, and how that gas changes in its chemical make-up over time.

“Megan Donahue’s election to this senior leadership position reflects the growing strength of astronomy and astrophysics programs at Michigan State University,” said Philip Duxbury, Department of Physics and Astronomy chair. “University support for the SOAR telescope, and for astrophysics programs at the interface between nuclear physics and astronomy, has played an important role in promoting the exceptional international leadership achieved by Professor Donahue.”

Donahue and the rest of the AAS officers and councilors will take office this summer. For a complete list of this year’s election winners, visit https://aas.org/posts/news/2017/02/results-2017-aas-election.

  • via College of Natural Science website

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