Biography

Switzerland

Michel Mayor

2000 Balzan Prize for Instrumentation and Techniques in Astronomy and Astrophysics

For his achievements that made it possible to detect the first planet around a star other than the Sun.

MICHEL G.E. MAYOR, born on 12 January 1942 in Lausanne, is a Swiss citizen.
Full Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of Geneva, and Director of the Geneva Observatory (since 1998).

He has taken part in and continues to contribute to the work of the international scientific community, at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, Chile) and at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS, France), with stays at Cambridge Observatory (UK) in 1971 and at the University of the Hawaii (in 1994-1995), undertaking work at the Presidency of the Commission on the galactic structure of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) (1988-1991), of the Scientific and Technical Council of the European Southern Observatory (1990-1992) and of the Swiss Society of Astrophysics and Astronomy (1990-1993).

Among his recognitions, mention must be made of the 1983 Prize of the Académie Française des Sciences (Prize “Charles-Louis de Saulces de Freycinet”), the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg b which was indicated by “Science” among the ten most important discoveries of 1995, the medal of the Commission of Bioastronomy of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) awarded during the 1997 General Assembly of Kyoto, the 1998 Prize Marcel-Benoist awarded by the Swiss Confederation, the 1998 Janssen Prize by the Astronomical Society of France and the 1998 ADION Medal by the Observatory of the Côte d’Azur (Nice, France).

(October 2000)

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