Ron Allen is presently Adjunct Professor and Principal Research Scientist in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the Johns Hopkins University, as well as Research Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He did his undergraduate work in Physics (B.A. Hons. 1962) at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and received his PhD in Physics from M.I.T in 1967. Ron then spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the radio astronomy group at the Paris-Meudon Observatory, and in 1969 he joined the research staff at the Kapteyn Laboratory in Groningen, the Netherlands, to work with the newly-commissioned Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. He was appointed to the faculty of the astronomy department at Groningen University as assistant Lecturer in Radio Astronomy in 1972 and promoted to Professor in 1980. In 1982 Ron served for 3 years as Chairman of the Astronomy Department and Dean of the Subfaculty of Astronomy at Groningen University. In 1985 he went to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana as Professor of Astronomy and Head of Department. Ron moved to STScI as a Full Astronomer in 1989 and has held various management positions in the Institute.
Ron Allen's current professional interests include spiral structure and the physics of the interstellar medium in galaxies, as well as applications of Fourier methods to Optics. His publications in the research literature include 18 invited review papers (first author on 16), more than 100 papers in refereed journals (first author on 33), and more than 66 papers in conferences and the popular press (first author on 24). His main research interest at present is using radio telescopes for the study of 18-cm OH emission as a tracer for the large-scale distribution of "CO-Dark H2" in the Galactic ISM.