Franklin Medals for two Penn scientists

Two Penn scholars have been named 2003 recipients of the Benjamin Franklin Medal, one of the world’s oldest science and technology awards. Professor of Chemistry Robin M. Hochstrasser and Research Professor of Physics Raymond Davis Jr. are among 10 American scientists being honored by The Franklin Institute for their work in aviation, chemistry, civil engineering, computers and cognitive science, earth sciences, electrical engineering, life sciences and physics.

Hochstrasser—who is the director of Penn’s Regional Laser and Biotechnology Laboratories—is being recognized for his pioneering work in ultrafast and multi-dimensional spectroscopies, technologies that have facilitated understanding of complex systems at the molecular level.

Recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics, Davis, along with his colleagues Masatoshi Koshiba of the University of Tokyo and John Bahcall of the Institute for Advanced Study, conducted groundbreaking research into the emission of neutrinos—ghostlike, almost massless particles produced by solar nuclear fusion reactions.

Ralph L. Brinster, Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, has received the 2002-2003 Wolf Prize in Medicine from the Wolf Foundation. He shares this prize with colleagues from the University of North Carolina and the University of Utah for developing techniques that enable the introduction and modification of individual genes within mouse eggs and embryos. Awarded since 1978, the Wolf Prize recognizes achievements “in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples.”

Giants of urban planning

Anthony Tomazinis, professor of city and regional planning and director of TRANSLAB, has received the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Professional Planner from the Pennsylvania Planning Association. The honor notes his sustained contribution to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching and writing. A pioneer in transportation modeling and a visionary on urban transportation issues, Tomazinis is now helping Greece plan an entire city called Technopolis.

Eugenie Birch, professor and chair of city and regional planning, was appointed to the six-person advisory committee that helped Lower Manhattan Development Corporation officials in charge of rebuilding select planning teams for Ground Zero. Of the chosen teams, one has Penn ties. Dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts Gary Hack and Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Daniel Libeskind are affiliated with Studio Daniel Libeskind, one of two recently selected finalists for the Ground Zero plan (see “Architecture”).

Originally published on February 27, 2003