Full Name
Wendy Laurel Freedman, FRS
University of Chicago
Speaker Bio
Wendy Laurel Freedman, FRS, is the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, at the University of Chicago. She is an observational cosmologist renowned for her research on the Hubble Constant–the rate at which the universe is expanding over time. Two decades ago, she led a team of 30 astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the universe, resolving a longstanding debate regarding previously wide-ranging estimates. She served as the founding chair of the board of directors from 2003 to 2015 for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Her current interest is directed at increasing the accuracy of measurements of the expansion rate using the James Webb Space Telescope and testing whether there is new fundamental early-universe physics missing from the current standard model of cosmology. Dr. Freedman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Wendy Laurel Freedman, FRS