Robert Socolow
Princeton University


"For leadership in establishing energy and environmental problems as legitimate research fields for physicists, and for demonstrating that these broadly-defined problems can be addressed with the highest scientific standards."


Robert H. Socolow is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where he has been on the faculty since 1971. He was the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, 1979-1997. He teaches in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Socolow's current research focuses on global carbon management, the hydrogen economy, and fossil-carbon sequestration. He is the co-principal investigator (with ecologist, Stephen Pacala) of Princeton's new multi-disciplinary Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), a $20-million, ten-year (2001-2010) project, supported by BP and Ford. See (

Socolow was the editor of Annual Review of Energy and the Environment (Annual Reviews, Inc.) 1992-2002. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society from 1992-99. In 1995, he was a member of the Fusion Review Panel of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Socolow earned a B.A. in l959 and Ph.D. in l964 from Harvard University in theoretical high energy physics. He was an assistant professor of physics at Yale University from l966 to l97l. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

With John Harte, Socolow co-edited Patient Earth (Holt, Rinehart, l97l), one of the first college textbooks in environmental studies. He also edited Saving Energy in the Home: Princeton's Experiments at Twin Rivers (Ballinger, l978). He co-edited Efficient Use of Energy (American Institute of Physics, l975); Boundaries of Analysis: An Inquiry into the Tocks Island Dam Controversy (Ballinger, l976); Energy Conservation: Proceedings of the Soviet-American Symposium, Moscow, June l985 (Pergamon, l988); and Industrial Ecology and Global Change (Cambridge University Press, l994).

Selection Committee:

Andrew Sessler (Chair), David Donnelly (12/02), Henry Kelly (12/02), Aviva Brecher (V Chair) (12/03), Tina Kaarsberg (12/03)