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Pasadena, CA –
The American Philosophical Society elected Wendy Freedman, the Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair of The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution, to its membership on April 27, 2007.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Freedman is an observational cosmologist studying galactic evolution and the evolution of stellar populations. For over a decade she was one of three co-principal investigators involved in a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Key Project to determine the rate at which the universe is expanding. The objective was to refine the accuracy of the current expansion rate, known as the Hubble constant. More recently Freedman, in collaboration with others, has been studying the acceleration of the expansion of the universe as part of the Carnegie Supernova Project (CSP).

“Wendy is widely known for her rigorous research and outstanding leadership in the astronomical community and beyond,” commented Richard A. Meserve, Carnegie president. “This honor is well deserved and everyone in the institution is very proud of her.”

Freedman received her doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Toronto in 1984 and was awarded a Carnegie fellowship that same year. She joined the permanent Observatories staff in 1987 and became department director in March of 2003.

Among her many affiliations and awards, Freedman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. She was also awarded the Magellanic Premium Award from the American Philosophical Society (APS) in 2002.

Benjamin Franklin established the American Philosophical Society in 1743. An internationally recognized scholarly organization, the APS promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. It is the first learned society in the USA and has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 250 years.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington, a private nonprofit organization, has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It has six research departments: the Geophysical Laboratory and the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, both located in Washington, D.C.; The Observatories in Pasadena, California, and Chile; the Department of Plant Biology and the Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, California; and the Department of Embryology in Baltimore, Maryland.