Project Steve #300 awarded Medal of Freedom

| 9 Comments

NCSE’s Project Steve, now with 1,097 signers, includes an array of notable scientists including the two eligible living Nobel Prize winners, Steven Chu (U.S. Secretary of Energy) and Steven Weinberg. Another notable signer is Stephen Hawking, who holds the Lucasian Professorship in Mathematics at Cambridge University, the same professorship Isaac Newton held. Yesterday President Obama announced that Hawking will be among 16 people to be awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, our highest civilian honor, joining (among others) Ted Kennedy, Desmond Tutu, and Joe Medicine Crow, a tribal historian, author, and WWII veteran who won the Bronze Star. We congratulate all the awardees, with a special congratulations to Hawking, Project Steve #300.

9 Comments

I checked the Wikipedia “List of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients” which lists the recipients by “aspect of life”. There are very few under the category “Science” - and I note that this list is not complete. Without meaning in the least to diminish their accomplishments, not always what I would call “science”.

Pretty sure Hawking recently retired as Lucasian professor. Marcus Du Sautoy took the chair.

Steve

Wikipedia says that he intends to retire in September 2009.

Wrong Professorship Steve!

Du Sautoy took the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science, succeeding Richard Dawkins.

Steve Taylor said:

Pretty sure Hawking recently retired as Lucasian professor. Marcus Du Sautoy took the chair.

Steve

According to the press announcement a while back, Hawking intends to retire sometime this year. Cambridge still lists him as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

Moral: never post before that first coffee of the day.

Apologies to all. You’re quite right.

Steve

I am delighted to hear the news. He and I share a birthday (with Elvis, but I try to look on the bright side!).

I recently saw a show (I think it was on the Nat Geo channel) about Hawking and his admission that he was wrong in thinking that information was lost when black holes die. In that show another cosmologist said that Hawking did not make his top ten of the most important cosmologists of the last century, not did Hawking make the top ten for any of the physicists he knew. Is this just a case of very blatant sour grapes, or is truly the considered opinion of those in the field?

Anyone know? I’ve really no way to find out.

dpr

There are very few scientists who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I’m not a scientist, so I’d like to hear from scientists out there who they think would deserve the honor.

TomS said:

There are very few scientists who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I’m not a scientist, so I’d like to hear from scientists out there who they think would deserve the honor.

Not Teller, though it is called the medal of freedom. Feeding fear and paranoia isn’t something to be proud of. Jonas Salk types would be candidates. Obama called these people “agents of change.” Science educators should be up too. Guys like Brownowski and Sagan probably got people involved in science that may not have thought about that line of work. The major science journals are all in English today, and at nearly all major science conferences, scientists present their results in English. The major reason for that is the US dominance in science. When I started graduate school in the early 1980s they had dropped the language requirement for the PhD. It wasn’t thought to be needed any longer.

Now, China seem to be publishing a lot of material that I can only read the abstracts for.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 31, 2009 8:57 PM.

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