On Monday November 6, 2017 The Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted the annual Elizabeth Laird Memorial Prize Lecture.
The Prize Lecture commemorates Prof. Elizabeth Laird, an extraordinary individual who was a member of the Department of Physics at the University of Western Ontario in the 1940s, and is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to physics or applied physics and overcome a significant personal or professional obstacle during the course of their career.
This year's lecture was given by Dr. C. Megan Urry Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Director – Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Dr. Urry's topic was "Black Holes, Galaxies, and the Evolution of the Universe".
Dr. Urry is well-known for her work on active galaxies, galaxies with unusually luminous cores powered by very massive black holes, and has been a leader on the science teams that embarked on some of the deepest sky surveys with multiple space telescopes, searching for distant active galaxies to track the growth of very massive black holes over cosmic time and how that growth impacts the galaxies they inhabit.
Her legacy of research excellence and extraordinary service to the community, particularly in the area of advancing the status of women and minorities in science, make Dr. Urry a superlative representative of the legacy of Elizabeth Laird, and we were honoured to have her speak to us.
A reception followed the lecture.