Dr. Robert Williams

Distinguished Research Scholar

Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore)


International Astronomical Union

Research Interests: As a spectroscopist my recent research interests have focussed on the analysis of spectra of different types of emission-line objects, including nebulae, accretion disks, active galaxies, and novae, in order to determine their physical conditions and evolutionary state. Some of the papers listed below give the results of this research.  Unraveling the complex nature of the nova outburst through study of their ejecta has especially preoccupied me.  I expect to continue working on novae for the next few years, both observationally and theoretically.  Having had a close association with Hubble Space Telescope for many years a fraction of my time is devoted to giving lectures to research astronomers, students, and the public on the discoveries that have come out of the Hubble Telescope.

   A significant fraction of my involvement with the IAU has been devoted to the formulation of a strategic plan for the IAU that directs the organization in the coming decade toward the development of astronomy and science education around the world, especially in emerging countries.

Relevant Articles & Lectures: The following articles and lectures present recent research results as well as some prepared remarks on policy matters:


Aspen Physics Center Workshop (2003)

Astronomy Olympiad Lecture, Alexandria Library, Egypt (2009)