Sidney Van den Bergh

 Sidney Van den Bergh, astronomer, cosmologist (b at Wassenaar, Netherlands 20 May 1929). After completing studies at Princeton University (1950), Ohio State University (1952) and the University of Göttingen (1956), Van den Bergh assumed a faculty position at Ohio State University (1956-58) before moving to Toronto (1958).

At the David Dunlap Observatory, University of Toronto, he played a key role in expanding the facilities, developing computer techniques, multicolour photometry and other innovations. Although he has contributed to lunar studies and studies of other aspects of our own solar system, his real forte is with extragalactic studies on which he has published original findings and major reviews on nebulae, star clusters, variable stars, supernovae and recently a revision to the perceived age of the universe (seeCOSMOLOGY).

In 1977 he was appointed director of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, taking office in 1978 and remaining as principal research officer since retiring as director in 1986. Since 1982 he has also served as president and chairman of the board of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation in Hawaii. In March 1986 he and fellow astronomer C.J. Pritchet obtained remarkable images of some of the jets of Halley's Comet. A COMET he discovered in 1974 bears his name. He received the first National Research Council President's Science Medal (1988); has received 3 other prestigious astronomical and scientific awards; and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada (1994).