Ken Freeman is Duffield Professor emeritus at the Australian National University (Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory) in Canberra. He studied mathematics at the University of Western Australia and theoretical astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, followed by a postdoctoral year at McDonald Observatory (University of Texas) with G. de Vaucouleurs and a year as a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He returned to Australia in 1967 as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at Mt Stromlo Observatory, joined the Mount Stromlo staff in 1970 and has been there ever since. He held an appointment as Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore for many years. He won the Dannie Heineman prize of the American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society for 1999. In 2001, he was named by ISI as one of Australia’s 35 most highly cited scientists (ranked 5). He won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2012, the Matthew Flinders Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 2013, and was the Henry Norris Russell Lecturer (American Astronomical Society) in 2013. In 2014 he won the international Gruber Prize for Cosmology. He became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 1981 , a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) in 1998, and a foreign associate of the NAS in 2017. He was appointed as Companion of the Order of Australia in 2017.

Research Interests

My research interests are in the formation and dynamics of galaxies and globular clusters, and particularly in the problem of dark matter in galaxies. I was one of the first to point out (1970) that spiral galaxies contain a large fraction of dark matter.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 12: Astronomy