APS News

De Gennes, Ben Lakhdar and Wagner to Deliver Endowed Lectures at March and April Meetings

This year two named APS lectureships will bring distinguished foreign scientists to speak at the March and April meetings. The speakers were selected by the APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA), from nominations submitted by various APS units.

The Beller Lectureship was endowed by Esther Hoffman Beller for the purpose of bringing distinguished physicists from abroad as invited speakers at APS meetings. The lectureship provides support for speakers at the March and April meetings.

The Marshak Lectureship, endowed by Ruth Marshak in honor of her late husband and former APS president, Robert Marshak, provides travel support for physicists from a developing country or Eastern Europe invited to speak at APS meetings.

The March Beller lecture will be given by Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, of the Collège de France. De Gennes is a leading exponent of soft condensed matter physics. He received the 1991 Nobel Prize in Physics for his generalization of physical order descriptors to complex soft matter. At the March Meeting, de Gennes will present a talk on “The Nature of Memory Objects in the Brain.” De Gennes was nominated for the Beller Lectureship by the Division of Polymer Physics.

The 2006 Marshak lecturer will be Zohra Ben Lakhdar of the University of Tunis. She will give a talk at the March Meeting entitled “Scientists in Developing Countries: Is there an effective way to support meaningful research?” Ben Lakhdar’s research focuses on atomic spectroscopy, and she is devoting her career to carrying out applied research to meet national needs in Tunisia. She is the recipient of the 2005 UNESCO–L’Oréal prize for Women in Sciences for her experiments and models on infrared spectroscopy and its applications to pollution, detection and medicine. Ben Lakhdar was nominated for the Marshak lectureship by the Forum on International Physics.

At the April Meeting, the Beller Lecture will be given by Albrecht Wagner, director of DESY, the German particle physics laboratory. Wagner has been a leading proponent of the International Linear Collider and of international collaboration on big scientific projects. He currently serves as the international representative on the APS Council. He will give a plenary talk at the April Meeting on “Physics Prospects and International Aspects of ILC.” Wagner was nominated for the Beller Lectureship by the Division of Particles and Beams and the Division of Particles and Fields.

Awarded occasionally in recent years, the Beller and Marshak Lectureships will now become annual events administered by CISA. Each year, CISA will invite the APS Divisions, Topical Groups, and Forums to submit nominations of candidates for the lectureships. An announcement of the call for 2007 online nominations will appear soon.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for the units and CISA to work together,” said Amy Flatten, APS Director of International Affairs. “International activities cut across all aspects of the Society, and CISA is eager to collaborate with all APS units to award these annual lectureships.”



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