The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has appointed Dr. Iain Neill Reid as Head of the STScI's Science Mission Office (SMO).
The SMO is responsible for maintaining the science infrastructure required to support research by STScI staff, for oversight of science policies and for acting as an interface between the Hubble Space Telescope and the broader user community. Among other activities, SMO manages the Hubble telescope time allocation process, the Space Telescope User Committee, and the Hubble Fellowship program. SMO is also responsible for STScI's Giacconi Fellowship Program, the Caroline Herschel Visitor Program and the John Bahcall Lecture Series.
Reid joined STScI in 2001. During his tenure he has held a number of positions, including Instruments Scientist with the Wide Field Camera 3, and Head of the Science Policies division.
Prior to coming to STScI, Reid held a variety of fellowship and research associate positions at Sussex University, the Royal Greenwich Observatory (at Herstmonceux Castle), Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania. While at Caltech, Reid was the primary scientist associated with the second Palomar Sky Survey. In that capacity, he visually inspected every 14-by-14-inch photographic plate taken on the Oschin Schmidt telescope between 1986 and 1999. These plates form the basis for much of the Digitized Sky Survey, used as an everyday resource by the astronomical community.
Reid's research areas include low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, Galactic structure, extrasolar planets and astrobiology. In particular, he has focused on understanding the stellar mass function at very low masses, and, as a member of the 2 Microns All Sky Survey Rare Objects team, was closely involved in elucidating the nature of ultra-cool L and T dwarfs. He was also the first to use data from the Hipparcos satellite to derive revised distance estimates for Galactic globular clusters.
Dr. Reid's appointment is effective July 5, 2008.
For additional information, contact:
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.