Cambridge, MA — Margaret Geller, a leading researcher at the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory of Cambridge, Mass., has been
awarded La Medaille de l’ADION for the year 2002 by l’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 research undertaken at l’Observatoire de la
Cote d’Azur.”

Geller’s work on systems of galaxies connects their current
properties to their history. She was a pioneer in mapping the
three-dimensional distribution of galaxies in space and showed that
galaxies mark 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
than 160 research papers. In 1990, Geller was awarded a MacArthur
Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as the “Genius Grant.”

La Medaille de l’ADION has been awarded annually since 1963 to a
scientist whose work has had a significant impact on research at
l’Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, as well as on the field of
astronomy as a whole. The medal recipient is chosen by an
international committee made up of seven eminent scientists. Previous
recipients include Bart Bok (known for his work on star formation and
the structure of the Milky Way), Margaret Burbidge (known for her
work on galaxies and quasars), Jan Oort (who first measured the mass
of the Milky Way), Fred Hoyle (who first figured out how elements are
made in stars), 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).