Theoretical work on the evolution and structure of the universe landed Canadian cosmologist J. Richard Bond the 2008 Cosmology Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, awarded Sept. 17 at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

The $500,000 prize, accompanied by a gold medal, recognizes Bond’s influence on the current understanding of the universe, including such topics as the role of dark matter. Bond is director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Cosmology and Gravity Program and a university professor at the University of Toronto.

The Gruber Foundation Prize was inspired by a conference at the Center for Astrophysics attended by founders Peter and Patricia Gruber in 1999. Within a year, they had established the cosmology prize. Today, the Gruber Foundation offers five international prizes each year, including the cosmology prize, awarded in collaboration with the International Astronomical Union.

CfA researcher Karen L. Masters received a young investigator award of $50,000.

“There is not a more fitting venue for the award ceremony than the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,” said Patricia Gruber, president of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

In a talk delivered Sept. 18, Bond described developments in the understanding of the universe over recent decades and said progress on some of the remaining mysteries will very likely be made with new instruments in coming years.