17 December 2009

An Elegant Evening

Posted by Michael McFadden

On Wednesday night, hundreds of geophysicists closed their laptops, put aside their lab notes, and rolled up their poster presentations to come together to honor 10 luminaries in Earth and space science at the AGU Honors Ceremony.

It was an elegant evening. All of the medalists were dressed in their finery – tuxedos, glittering outfits, even a red and gold kimono – and an ordinary lecture hall was transformed with an elegant black and white backdrop.

The honored scientists were being recognized for their contributions to research on space weather, ocean engineering and instrumentation, hydrology, modeling, atmospheric science, and Earth structure and dynamics of Earth’s mantle and core. In addition, AGU recognized three young scientists for their significant contributions to geophysics and one senior scientist with the Bowie Medal, the highest recognition bestowed by AGU.

Each medalist expressed gratitude toward collaborators, mentors, and students and underscored the how much their own careers had been buoyed by all of these people.

One of the best pieces of advice came from Bruce Tsurutani, who directed his comment to young scientists: “Make sure that you’re enjoying the science that you do.” Tsurutani received the John Adam Fleming Medal, “for original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences.”

The citations to each of the medalists and their responses will be published in Eos starting in early January 2010.

–Barbara Richman, Executive Editor, Eos