Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Alumni Centennial Professor, and Director of Space@Hopkins, Charles Bennett has been selected as a recipient of the international “Space Science Award” from the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). “The COSPAR Award honors a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to space science.” The Space Science Award is presented every other year. The 2016 award goes to Charles L. Bennett and Anatoly I. Grigoriev, the Director of the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow, who has a long history in space medicine.
The citation for the award is as follows:
Professor Charles L. Bennett is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, MD, USA. He is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society. He is the recipient of many awards including the Shaw Prize (2010), the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Henry Draper Medal of the NAS (2005).
Professor Bennett is awarded the COSPAR Space Science Award for his leadership of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a space experiment that, through its precise measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background revolutionized our understanding of the Universe. WMAP has determined robustly that of the three possible cosmological geometries, our Universe is flat to within 0.4%; that the Universe is 13.8 ± 0.1 billion years old; that only 4.6 ± 0.1% of the Universe is baryonic; that 24 ± 1% is dark matter, and 71 ± 1% is dark energy. WMAP confirmed the existence of the cosmic neutrino background; and discovered a tilt in the primordial scalar spectral index at the 5-sigma level, thereby constraining inflation models. Also noteworthy was Professor Bennett’s essential contribution as Deputy Principal Investigator of the COBE mission, the Nobel Prize recognized experiment that paved the way for WMAP.