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National Medal of
Science: Dr. Davis

President George W. Bush announced last week that Dr. Raymond Davis Jr., research professor of physics and astronomy, is among 15 recipients of the 2001 National Medal of Science.

Penn scientists have now received the National Medal of Science two years in a row; chemist Dr. Ralph F. Hirschmann was a recipient of the 2000 Medal (Almanac November 21, 2000).

Dr. Davis conceived, built and ran the first experiment to detect neutrinos from the core of the sun, giving rise to the field of neutrino physics. Using chlorine detectors in the 1960s, he found only one-third the number of neutrinos predicted by the accepted solar model, a result that has been confirmed by later experiments including the Kamiokande and Sudbury Neutrino Observatory collaborations in which Penn has played a major part.

Dr. Davis joined Penn in 1985 as a research professor after a 37-year career at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Davis has won numerous awards including the Wolf Foundation prize in physics for 2000; the $100,000 prize was awarded for "pioneering observations of astronomical phenomena by detection of neutrinos, which was instrumental in creating the emerging field of neutrino astronomy" (Almanac January 25, 2000). When he was awarded an honorary doctor of science from Penn in 1990 (Almanac April 24, 1990) he was described as "the father of neutrino research."

President Judith Rodin said, "Dr. Davis is a pioneering scientist whose extraordinary research in physics has earned him the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in science. Dr. Davis' impressive career has led other scientists to understand the ability of neutrinos to change into other neutrino forms. Our sincere congratulations go to a man who has again honored Penn."

The National Medal of Science honors pioneering scientific research that has enhanced our basic understanding of life and the world around us. The NSF administers the award established by Congress in 1959. Including the latest laureates, the honor has been conferred on 401 distinguished scientists and engineers, six from Penn. The first was Dr. Britton Chance, 1974, followed by Dr. Paul Gyorgy, 1975, Dr. Mildred Cohn, 1982, Dr. Robert L. Schrieffer, 1983 and, Dr. Ralph Hirschmann 2000.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 34, May 21, 2002


May 21, 2002
Volume 48 Number 34

A National Medal of Science for a pioneering Penn physicist.

SEAS selects two recipients for its annual awards.
Wharton gives awards to dozens of its faculty.
The concern about bicyclists on campus picks up momentum.
Search Committees are formed to advise on selecting two new deans.
Next Tuesday is PPSA's annual meeting and election.
Baccalaureate and Commencement speeches and photographs.
University Council committee year-end reports on Bookstores, Communications, and Community Relations.
The largest voluntary canine blood donor program in the US gets new wheels.

Recognized Holidays for faculty and staff, and revisions to the Academic Calendar.

A dozen new CCTV locations for public spaces are added to those previously approved.