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  Oldest, space-travelled, science prize awarded to Hawking

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Author Topic:   Oldest, space-travelled, science prize awarded to Hawking
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-24-2006 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Royal Society release
quote:
Professor Stephen Hawking is to receive the world's oldest award for scientific achievement - the Royal Society's prestigious Copley medal - for his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology it was announced today (24 August 2006).

In recognition of Stephen Hawking's work in cosmology, British born astronaut Piers Sellers carried the medal, due to be presented to Hawking later this year, with him on the recent Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

First awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, the Copley medal pre-dates the Nobel Prize by 170 years. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and during its 275 year history, has been awarded to such scientific luminaries as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Louis Pasteur.

Professor Hawking said: "This is a very distinguished medal. It was awarded to Darwin, Einstein and Crick. I am honoured to be in their company."

British astronaut, Piers Sellers said: "Stephen Hawking is a definitive hero to all of us involved in exploring the Cosmos. His contribution to science is unique and he serves as a continuous inspiration to every thinking person. It was an honour for the crew of the STS-121 mission to fly his medal into space. We think that this is particularly appropriate as Stephen has dedicated his life to thinking about the larger Universe."

The crew of STS-121 carried the Copley medal into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in July, 2006. The astronauts kept the medal with them in the Shuttle middeck throughout the mission, including the nine days they were docked with the International Space Station.

Stephen Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His work has been essential in understanding and classifying black holes. He has also made an exceptional contribution to the popularisation of his subject, authoring four popular-science books including "A Brief History of Time" and "The Universe in a Nutshell".

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: "Stephen Hawking has contributed as much as anyone since Einstein to our understanding of gravity. This medal is a fitting recognition of an astonishing research career spanning more than 40 years.

"I wish to express my gratitude to Piers Sellers and the crew of the STS-121 for taking the medal with them their mission and marking the 275th anniversary of this eminent scientific award."

The medal will be awarded to Professor Hawking on the 30 November at the Society's annual Anniversary Day, commemorating the foundation of the Society in 1660.


Rob Joyner
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Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 08-25-2006 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A well deserved honor.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-28-2006 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From NASA.gov:
quote:
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is being honored with the world's oldest award for scientific achievement, with a special high-altitude assist from NASA.

The British Royal Society is awarding Professor Hawking its prestigious Copley Medal on Nov. 30 for his contributions to theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology. The silver gilt medal flew on space shuttle Discovery's July 2006 mission to the International Space Station, at the initiative of crew member Piers Sellers, a native of Britain. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin will travel to London to help make the medal presentation.

"Stephen Hawking has become a household name, known as a brilliant physicist by people who have no other knowledge of physics," Griffin said. "Through his contributions to the understanding of time and space, ranging from black holes to worm holes, he has earned a reputation as one of the most imaginatively perceptive scientists of all time. We at NASA are honored to have had a part in making Dr. Hawking’s receipt of the famed Copley Medal a truly special occasion, by presenting to him this medal, flown in space aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-121."

The Copley Medal, which has never flown before in space, was first awarded 275 years ago. It is selected by Fellows of the Royal Society and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences. Past recipients of the Copley Medal include such giants of science as Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, and Francis Crick.

During the Copley Medal's several million mile trip above Earth's atmosphere, it was stored in the shuttle middeck, while the STS-121 crew conducted its mission to help resume assembly of the International Space Station. Sellers, who also carried a photograph of Professor Hawking with him said: "Stephen Hawking is a definitive hero to all of us involved in exploring the cosmos. His contribution to science is unique and he serves as a continuous inspiration to every thinking person. It was an honor for the crew of the STS-121 mission to fly his medal into space. We think that this is particularly appropriate as Stephen has dedicated his life to thinking about the larger universe."

At the time of the mission, Hawking said he wanted to "express his gratitude" to Sellers and the rest of the Discovery crew for the gesture.

The medal will be awarded to Professor Hawking on Nov. 30 at the Royal Society’s annual Anniversary Day, commemorating the foundation of the society in 1660. The following evening, Administrator Griffin will speak to the members of the Royal Society about NASA’s exploration and science programs.


dss65
Member

Posts: 821
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-28-2006 08:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's great to see recognition given to great minds--in this case, one of the great minds of our age or any age. How wonderful that his award is so unique.

------------------
Don

[Edited by dss65 (November 28, 2006).]

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