Alessandra Buonanno elected member of the Italian National Academy of Sciences

The inauguration ceremony will be held on November 10, 2023, in Rome

August 28, 2023

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is one of the oldest and most prestigious European scientific institutions. It was founded in Rome in 1603 as the first private institution for the promotion of natural sciences in Europe. Today, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is the Italian National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s a great honor to be elected to this distinguished academy, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with colleagues of the academy in Italy,” says Alessandra Buonanno, director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Potsdam. “I owe a great deal of this recognition to the members of my group in the last two decades.” Buonanno has been elected foreign member to the academy’s class of physical, mathematical and natural sciences.

Alessandra Buonanno is interested in understanding the origin and nature of black holes and neutron stars in our universe through the observation of gravitational waves. Her research on waveform modeling has been instrumental in the detection and physical interpretation of gravitational waves from binary black holes and neutron stars with LIGO and Virgo detectors. Buonanno pioneered and greatly contributed to the successful synergistic approach of combining numerical-relativity techniques with analytical-relativity methods with the goal of developing the most accurate and efficient waveform models for gravitational-wave observations. Together with her group members at AEI and the University of Maryland, she is also developing high-precision waveform models for the first gravitational-wave detector in space (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna/LISA), and the next-generation detectors on the earth (the European Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer in the United States).

Alessandra Buonanno studied theoretical physics in Pisa, and held faculty positions in Paris and at the University of Maryland, where she became full professor in 2010. She is a Principal Investigator of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Einstein Telescope Collaboration. She is a member of the LISA Consortium Board. For her contributions to LIGO and Virgo discoveries, she was awarded several prizes, including the 2018 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize – the most prestigious research prize in Germany. In 2021 she was co-awarded  the Galileo Galilei Medal, the Dirac Medal and the Balzan Prize. She received the 2022 Tomalla Prize for her outstanding work on gravitational-wave physics. In 2021, she has been elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, of the US National Academy of Sciences, and of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Buonanno is a Fellow of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, and of the American Physical Society. She holds a research professorship at the University of Maryland, and honorary professorships at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and at the University of Potsdam.

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (National Academy of the Lynx-Eyed) is one of the oldest and most prestigious European scientific institutions, founded 1603 in Rome. The society was named after the lynx (“lince” is the Italian for lynx) for the acute vision attributed to this animal which then was still a common species in Italy. The Academy focuses on all the natural sciences, and it’s free from any influence of tradition or authority. This was a great innovation that distinguished the Lincei from the other learned societies that emerged in Italy in the years 1500 and 1600.
One of the most famous members was Galileo Galilei who was elected member of the academy in 1611. Today the Accademia dei Lincei is the Italian National Academy of Sciences.

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