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Durham University

Research & business

A world leader in Astronomy and Cosmology

(10 May 2021)

Astronomy and Cosmology at Durham University

We’re a world leader in Astronomy and Cosmology and our students are taught by some of the best researchers in their field.

Durham is ranked seventh in the world for its research in space science in the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list from the Web of Science Group.

This list identifies scientists and social scientists who’ve published multiple research papers ranking in the top one per cent for citations – including our professors Carlos Frenk, Adrian Jenkins and Tom Theuns.

The listing also puts Durham joint first in the UK and joint third in Europe for the strength of our Space Science research.

All this week (May 10 to 14) we'll be celebrating our fantastic space science research and meeting some of the people behind this fascinating work.

Highly cited research

For example, did you know that one of the research projects we’re a key partner in – The EAGLE Project – produced one of the most popular research papers of the past decade? EAGLE aims to understand how galaxies form and evolve.

From 2015, when the paper was published, to 2020, scientists around the world have referenced the EAGLE findings more than 1,500 times in their own research.

This put it second out of the top 100 most highly cited papers published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) between 2010 and 2020.

Nobel class

In addition Carlos, one of the UK’s leading science communicators, is the holder of the prestigious Paul Dirac Medal, and has been named “Nobel class” by Clarivate.

He holds the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for Astronomy, whose previous recipients include Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and Edwin Hubble.

Find out more

  • Former Durham undergraduate and masters degree astronomy student Zsofi Igo tells us about her time at the University and what the future holds for her.