Georges Meylan - Biography#

Since September 2015, Georges Meylan is honorary professor of astrophysics and cosmology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

After a PhD thesis in 1985 at the Astronomy Department of the University of Geneva, with Michel Mayor (Nobel prize 2019) as thesis advisor, Georges Meylan continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and at the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich, Germany. He then held senior astronomer positions at ESO in Munich and at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, USA. From 1999 to 2012, Georges Meylan was also a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, U.S.A.

From 2004 to 2015, Georges Meylan occupied the chair of astrophysics and cosmology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and was the director of the EPFL Laboratory of Astrophysics. During this period, he was chairman of the Swiss Commission for Astronomy of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (2006 - 2014) and the scientific delegate for Switzerland on the ESO Council (2008 - 2014).

Since 2016, Georges Meylan is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland, and is a member of the Council of the European Astronomical Society (EAS).

His research focuses on observational cosmology, including the phenomenon of gravitational lenses, quasars and their host galaxies, the formation and evolution of galaxies throughout the evolution of the Universe, stellar dynamics in globular clusters and the study of stellar populations in nearby and distant galaxies.

He was the initiator and leader in the participation of Switzerland in the ESA Euclid satellite, a mission which will study the nature of the main two components of our Universe which are the so-called and still very poorly known “Dark Energy” and “Dark Matter”. He also initiated the Swiss participation of Switzerland in the SKA fundamental ground-based arrays of radio telescopes, a transforming project for astronomy and cosmology.

A full list of publications (SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS))

Two extraordinary scientists made a great impact on Georges Meylan in shaping his mind and attitude towards science : first, Michel Mayor, his PhD Thesis advisor (Physics Nobel Prize 2019 for the discovery of the first exoplanet around a solar-type star) and Lo Woltjer, former Director General of ESO, who was an extraordinary visionary and builder of European astrophysics during the four decades before and around the turn of the millenium (1970 - 2010).

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