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Colwell, who will become the president in 1995, is the seventh woman president-elect of AAAS, the world's largest general scientific organization. "The goals that they've [AAAS] set for themselves are goals that I fully endorse," says Colwell, referring to the organization's objectives for the future, such as developing a series of forums on science policy and future directions for science and technology. Colwell says that when sh

Apr 18, 1994
Karen Kreeger
Rita R. Colwell, a microbiologist and president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, has been named president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She assumed the title on February 24, directly after AAAS's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Colwell, who will become the president in 1995, is the seventh woman president-elect of AAAS, the world's largest general scientific organization.

"The goals that they've [AAAS] set for themselves are goals that I fully endorse," says Colwell, referring to the organization's objectives for the future, such as developing a series of forums on science policy and future directions for science and technology.

Colwell says that when she becomes president, one of her key roles will be to find ways to more broadly communicate to researchers, policymakers, and AAAS members some of the less well-known programs of the organization.

"Everyone thinks of Science magazine, but AAAS is active in many [other] areas," says Colwell. She cites as examples work in international collaborations, science education, and science policy.

Colwell says she also wants to promote the role that AAAS can play in shaping science-education reform and science policy for the future. "There's an understanding [among AAAS members] that there's a need for long-range planning. Somewhere people have to come together to deliberate [on where to head] five to 10 years down the road."

Colwell received her B.S. (1956) and M.S. (1958) from Purdue University and her Ph.D. in marine microbiology from the University of Washington in 1961.

She serves on numerous editorial boards and government advisory councils. Her research centers on marine biotechnology, microbial systematics, and environmental microbiology.

Colwell has received much recognition for her contributions to research and economic development in the field of biotechnology, including the International Institute of Biotechnology Gold Medal, the National Scholar Award from Phi Kappa Phi, and the Pate Award, Maryland's highest honor for contributions to economic development.

--Karen Young Kreeger


Date: April 18, 1994, pp.23

Freeman J. Dyson, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., has received the 1994 Wright Prize, awarded by Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. Named after industrialist and former college trustee H. Dudley Wright, the prize honors those who have made exceptional contributions to science through cross-disciplinary study or research. The award ceremonies and accompanying lecture, given by Dyson and entitled "Away From the Mainstream: New Directions in Applied Physics," were held at Harvey Mudd on February 21. The award was the 12th Wright Prize conferred since its creation in 1979. The prize includes a $20,000 stipend and a bronze sculpture.

Dyson has been on the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study since 1953, arriving there after spending two years as a professor of physics at Cornell University. He received a B.A. in physics from the University of Cambridge in England in 1945. During World War II, Dyson served as a civilian, doing operations research at the headquarters of the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command from 1943 to 1945.

Dyson is best known in physics research for demonstrating mathematically that theories on quantum electrodynamics developed by Nobel laureates Richard Feynman and Julian Schwinger are equivalent. A former student of J. Robert Oppenheimer, he has also been recognized for his work in nuclear energy, arms control, space travel, science ethics, and biology.

The author of five books, including Disturbing the Universe (New York, Harper & Row, 1979), and Weapons and Hope (Harper & Row, 1984), Dyson is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Dyson sphere concept, a theory he developed from an idea first advanced by science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon, envisions the technology needed for the creation of artificial biospheres in solar orbit. This element of Dyson's work has been used in numerous works of science fiction, including the popular television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Dyson says he was "very happy" about receiving the Wright Prize and the chance to interact with students. "I spent three days with the Harvey Mudd students, preaching the gospel of diversity," he says, noting that he advised them "not to specialize too narrowly--but to keep their options open so they can find useful work to do."

Past recipients of the award include Jonas Salk, Robert D. Ballard, Francis Crick, Edward Purcell, Luis Alvarez, and Edwin Land.

--Craig Montesano