Emeritus Professor Kenneth Freeman

D.Sc (Hon.) (UWA), PhD (Camb),
ANU College of Science
T: +61 402 134 289

Areas of expertise

  • Galactic Astronomy 020104
  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy 020103

Research interests

Galactic Archaeology

Dark Matter

Globular Clusters

Nearby Galaxies


Kenneth Freeman  AC FAA FRS

Ken Freeman is Duffield Professor emeritus of Astronomy at the Australian National University in Canberra. He studied mathematics at the University of Western Australia and theoretical astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.  Before returning to Australia in 1967, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, and a research fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.  He has served as a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute many times since 1988, and was a Visiting Fellow of Merton  College, Oxford in 1997.

His research interests are in the formation and dynamics of galaxies and globular clusters, and particularly in the problem of dark matter in galaxies: he was one of the first to point out  (1970) that spiral galaxies contain a large fraction of dark matter. His more recent work is mainly on the formation and dynamics of the Milky Way, with particular interest in the formation of the ancient thick disk component. He has  published about 500 refereed research papers and reviews, with 44,000 citations and a Hirsh Index of 112, and has supervised 62 PhD students.

He won the Pawssey Medal of the Australian Academy of Science for 1972, the Dannie Heineman prize of the American Institute of  Physics and the American Astronomical Society for 1999, the  (Australian) Prime Minister's Science Prize for 2012, the Matthew Flinders Medal of the Australian Academy of Science for 2013, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical  Society for 2013, and the  Gruber Cosmology Prize in 2014.  In 2020  he became an inaugural Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.

He became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in  1981, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) in 1998, an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2017,  and a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017.


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Updated:  14 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers