Christine Jones Forman

Christine Jones Forman is a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.[1] She is currently the past president of the American Astronomical Society, and the director of the Smithsonian Institution's Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe.[5]

Christine Jones Forman
Alma materHarvard University, 1971, 1972, 1974
Known forDirector of the Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe[1] Host of Shedding Light on Science[2]
Spouse(s)William "Bill" R. Forman
AwardsBruno Rossi Prize,[3] 2013 Secretary's Distinguished Research Lecture Award of the Smithsonian Institution[4]
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Thesis (1974)

Education and career

In high school Forman attended the Ross Mathematics Program, Arnold Ross' summer mathematics program for gifted high school students. She finished high school in West Carrollton, Ohio before moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts where she earned three astrophysics degrees from Harvard University: an AB in 1971, AM in 1972, and PhD in 1974. During her time as a student, Forman was both a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Astrophysics and a Harvard Junior Fellow.[1]

Forman has been an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory since 1973 and previously served as the head of the Chandra Calibration Group from 1990–2010.[4] In 2010, Forman was named director of the Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe, and became one of four directors of the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortia for the Four Grand Challenges of the Strategic Plan.[1]


In 1985, Forman and her husband William R. Forman were the first recipients of the Bruno Rossi Prize, an award given annually by the American Astronomical Society "for a significant contribution to High Energy Astrophysics, with particular emphasis on recent, original work."[6] They received a $500 reward and a certificate "for pioneering work in the study of X-ray emission from early type galaxies."[3]

In 2013, Forman became the 14th recipient of the Secretary's Distinguished Research Lecture Award of the Smithsonian Institution.[4]

Personal life

Forman is married to astrophysicist Bill Forman. Together they have three children: Julia, Daniel, and Miranda.[1]


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