An astrophysicist from the University of Edinburgh is the first woman to be named as the Astronomer Royal for Scotland. Prof Catherine Heymans was recommended by an international panel convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to the Queen of Scotland. Prof Heymans, in a statement, said that she wanted to use the 200-year-old title to encourage people to develop a passion for science.
One of her first targets includes the installation of telescopes at all remote outdoor learning centres located in Scotland, which are visited by most of the country’s school pupils. Prof Heymans said: “I don’t think anyone forgets the first time they saw the rings of Saturn through a telescope, but too many people never have the chance,” and she would like to change that.
“My hope is that once that spark and connection with the universe is made, children will carry that excitement home with them and develop a life-long passion for astronomy or, even better, science as a whole,” said the Professor.