Adam Riess, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) astronomer and professor at the Johns Hopkins University, is among 72 scientists elected today to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy is an honorary society that advises the government on scientific matters. Riess is a leader of a team that in 1998 co-discovered "dark energy," a mysterious and still unexplained force that is driving the universe to expand at an ever-faster rate, overcoming the effects of gravity. Dark energy is the biggest mystery now confronting astrophysics, and Riess continues doing observations to deduce what dark energy is. He has shared two of cosmology's most prestigious prizes – the 2006 Shaw Prize and the Peter Gruber Foundation's 2007 Cosmology Prize – for this discovery, and last year was named as a winner of one of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." The 39-year-old astrophysicist has been at STScI since 1999.
Credit: W. Kirk (Homewood Photographic Services)