UCT Chair of Astronomy elected Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union
The IAU (International Astronomical Union) recently completed their 2012 General Assembly in Beijing. I look forward to reading about these events, hoping for another exciting controversy, but I managed to miss one item on the agenda which has definite local appeal: The newly elected vice-president is a South African woman from Cape Town: Professor Renée Kraan-Korteweg, who chairs the Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town. Our congratulations to Prof Kraan-Korteweg!
UCT dominates South African astronomy, with the largest astronomy department of any southern African academic institution and strong ties to the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the South African Square Kilometre Array office. The department primarily comprises observational (optical, near-infrared and radio) astronomers, with international leaders in the fields of large-scale structure of galaxies, dark matter in galaxies, low surface brightness galaxies, the uncovering of galaxies hidden by the Milky Way, the extra-galactic distance scale, and cataclysmic variable stars.