Professor Gerard Gilmore FRS

Gerard Gilmore is an astronomer who studies the nature and origin of our galaxy, the Milky Way. His work has pioneered the use of spectral surveys to chemically determine the galaxy’s history, and he was the first to propose that the Milky Way possesses a thick disc — a structural component believed to have formed early in the galaxy’s evolution. He also made the first reliable measurement of the amount of dark matter near our Sun.

His work has revealed the unexpected chemical distinction between stars in our galaxy’s halo and in its satellites. Gerard is also a principal investigator for the Gaia space observatory, which is creating a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way to help address fundamental questions about the structure and evolution of the galaxy.

Gerard has received many accolades in recognition of his work, including the Daniel Chalonge Medal in 2013. In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society, he has also been elected a Fellow of Academia Europaea and the Institute of Physics.

Professional position

  • Professor of Experimental Philosophy, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
  • Science and Technology Advisory Board Member, University of Aarhus
  • Scientific Coordinator, EC Opticon Astronomy Coordination Network
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Iranian National Observatory
  • Deputy Chair, Commission for Astrophysics (C19), International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics


Professor Gerard Gilmore FRS
Elected 2013