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Rachel Bean

Professor of Astronomy


I am a Professor in the Department of Astronomy and am currently serving as the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell, overseeing admissions, advising, career development and registrar services, and the undergraduate curriculum.

I am a Fellow of the American Physical Society,  a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and a Cottrell Scholar Award, for excellence in research and teaching. As a member of the NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) science team,  I was a co-recipient of a NASA Group Achievement Award, the 2012 Gruber Prize and the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

I play an active role in my department and university, as well the broader science community. I’ve served as a member of the US Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Council (AAAC), that advises NSF, NASA and the DOE on areas of mutual interest/concern. From 2015-17, I served as the collaboration leader (“Spokesperson”) for the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration, an international collaboration of over 500 scientists, and am actively involved in science teams for a number of upcoming astronomical surveys and space missions.

At Cornell,  I have served as the Director of Graduate Studies for Astronomy and as the Chair of the College of Arts of Sciences Diversity Committee. In the latter role, I led the creation of a report on “Growing and Sustaining Diversity in the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty”,  that assessed progress in meeting its diversity goals and identified strategies to enhance diversity, and led to positive changes in the College’s hiring and recruitment policy and practice.

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