Scott Duncan Tremaine

Scott Duncan Tremaine

Doctor of Science

Born in Toronto, Dr. Tremaine is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Dr. Tremaine graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, with a Bachelor of Science degree (Physics), followed two years later, in 1973, with a Master of Arts in Physics from Princeton University and, in 1975, with a Ph.D. in Physics also from Princeton University. In 1996, one of his alma maters, McMaster University, conferred on him a Doctor of Science (honoris causa). Two years earlier, he was made a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) and the Royal Society of London (FRSL).

Immediately following graduation, he spent two years as a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology followed by a one-year stint as a Research Associate at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, England. From 1978 to 1981, he was a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and from 1981 to 1985, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1985, Dr. Tremaine was enticed back to Canada from MIT to head the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto - a position which he held for a decade, along with a professorship in the Department of Physics, Department of Astronomy, and the Canadian Institute for Technical Astrophysics (1985 to 1995). In 1995, and for the next two years, he served as a professor at the University of Toronto, after which, in 1996, he became a Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Cosmology and Gravity, a position which he still holds. In 1997, he returned to Princeton University as professor of Astrophysical Sciences and a year later, in 1998, assumed the chairmanship of that department.

He has held a number of visiting positions, including being the Albert Einstein Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in the fall of 1983; in the winter of 1991, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar, California Institute of Technology; and in the fall of 1994, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Visiting Astronomer, Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge in England.

Included amongst his fellowships and awards are the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1971 to 1972); National Research Council (Canada), Postdoctoral Fellow (1975 to 1977); and in that same two-year period, the Richard Chace Tolman Fellow in Theoretical Physics; and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1982 to 1986). In 1983, he won the Helen B. Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society and from 1987 to 1998, held the Morris Loeb Lectureship at Harvard University, followed by the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship for the next two years, as well as the Steacie Prize in 1989. In the year 1990, he won two prestigious awards, namely the Carlyle S. Beals Award of the Canadian Astronomical Society, and the Rutherford Medal in Physics offered by the Royal Society of Canada. In 1992, he was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1994, he served as the David H. Harris Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also held a Killam Research Fellowship offered by the Canada Council as well as being made an Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. In that same year, he delivered the George H. Darwin Lecture for the Royal Astronomical Society and, as has been noted above, was made a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and of the Royal Society of London. In 1996, Asteroid 3806 was named after him and in 1997, he was awarded the Dannie Heinemann Prize for Astrophysics as well as the Dirk Brouwer Award.

He has also served on a significant number of major external committees - 23 in number in the last decade alone. These included the Advisory Board, Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara; being part of the Policy Panel, Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, National Research Council (USA), Director of the Search Committee, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institute of Washington. He has also served as the Associate Editor of Icarus as well as serving on the Editorial Committee preparing annual reviews of astronomy and astrophysics. He is the Receiving Editor of New Astronomy, a position which he assumed in 1996, the same year in which he became a member of the Space Interferometry Mission Science Working Group. Among the appointments he accepted in 1997, was a three-year stint on the Program Committee, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics, in addition to the Sectional Committee, Geophysics and Astronomy, Royal Society of London as well as sitting on the Visiting Committee, Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. Currently, he is also a member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee.

He holds membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Canadian and American Astronomical Societies; the international Astronomical Union and the Royal Societies of both Canada and London. He has published in excess of 90 invited reviews, refereed papers, as well as a book published in 1987 by Princeton University Press in cooperation with J. Binney entitled Galactic Dynamics. He has also been a major contributor at conferences which have resulted in a number of publications.

Dr. Tremaine has indicated that his "research is mostly directed toward understanding the dynamics of a broad range of astrophysical systems, including protoplanetary disks, planetary rings, planetary systems, comets, globular clusters, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. In 1997, he indicated some of the issues which he was investigating: Is the solar system stable? What is the origin of comets? Are there black holes in galactic nuclei? What is the nature and extent of dark matter in the Galaxy? Why are spiral galaxies warped? One of his outstanding research achievements was when the Voyager probe verified his prediction of the existence of ring-shepherding satellites on Uranus.