Prof Steven Balbus awarded Eddington Medal

Huge congratulations to Professor Steven Balbus, our Savilian Professor of Astronomy, who was awarded the Eddington Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society. 

Prof Stephen Balbus

‘The Eddington medal recognises investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics specifically for a single outstanding area of work; Professor Balbus has revolutionised the theory of accreting systems and made fundamental contributions to the theory of stability, turbulence and transport in astrophysical fluids. 

His career has spanned four decades working first in the United States then France and now here at Oxford, publishing numerous single and leading author papers. He has been honoured many times; perhaps most significantly winning the 2013 Shaw Prize (jointly with John Hawley). His name is now synonymous with the field of magnetorotational instability, or MRI, and he played a pivotal role in launching a whole new sub-field of astrophysics: establishing magnetohydrodynamics as a modelling tool in astrophysics.

A legacy for future generations

Professor Balbus comments: ‘I am deeply honoured to be recognised with this year’s RAS Eddington medal. The award has a long history, with many of the great astrophysicists of our time appearing on the list of recipients; it is wonderful to be associated with these individuals. I am also very pleased that my accretion work has turned out to be so useful to so many people – it is always a bit of a shock when the pen and pencil scribbles that you work with turn out to have a life of their own.’’