APS News

Dutch, Spanish Physicists to Give March Meeting Beller Lectures

The APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs announced that this year’s recipients of the Beller Lectureships are Francisco Guinea at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, and Rienk van Grondelle at Vrije University in the Netherlands. The two recipients will receive an endowment to travel to the 2011 March Meeting in Dallas to deliver lectures on their research. Van Grondelle was nominated for the lectureship by the Division of Biological Physics for his research in photosynthetic energy transfer and charge separation and Guinea was nominated by the Division of Materials Physics for his work on graphene models.

“These two people were selected, because they had the ‘strongest’ nominations–good CVs, good supporting letters, interesting topics. It was a hard choice, since we do get a number of good candidates,” said University of Waterloo professor Vengu Lakshminarayanan, chair of the selection committee.

Lakshminarayanan added that the lectureships allow APS meeting attendees to hear about new research from people who otherwise may not attend the meetings for financial reasons.

“It is a great honor. Previous recipients of the award are outstanding scientists. The APS March Meeting is an excellent place to present your work,” said Guinea. “I hope it will enhance the visibility of the research I am doing in my home country, Spain, and elsewhere.”

The Beller lectureships were established in 1994 using a bequest by Esther Hoffman Beller “for the purpose of bringing distinguished physicists from abroad as invited speakers at APS meetings.” Each year, up to three physicists receive $2,000 in travel assistance to come to their field’s annual meeting. So far there have been 22 recipients who have traveled to the US from as far as India, Israel and France.

“I find it a great honor, the first Dutch person to be selected. It also shows that the research into photosynthesis has a major physics aspect. It furthermore shows that our current knowledge of the photosynthetic process could be of great importance to develop ‘biosolar cells; i.e. solar cells based on the principle of photosynthesis,” said van Grondelle.

Van Grondelle will talk in session H7 on Tuesday, March 22, at 9:48 am. Guinea will speak in session P37 on Wednesday, March 23 at 8:00 am.

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Editor: Alan Chodos