Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Eugene M. Chudnovsky
Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York


"For decades of leadership of prominent campaigns on behalf of oppressed scientists, including chairmanship of the APS and New York Academy of Sciences human rights committees and co-chairing of the Committee of Concerned Scientists."


Eugene M. Chudnovsky received his M.S. (1971) and Ph.D. (1973) in theoretical physics from Kharkiv University in Ukraine where he continued to work after his graduation. The denial of an exit visa to Chudnovsky in 1979 led to his unemployment for eight years, during which he continued independent research and participated in the unofficial Refusenik Science Seminar in Moscow. He was frequently harassed and interrogated by the KGB. In 1987 Chudnovsky was allowed to emigrate and joined the faculty of the Physics Department of Tufts University. The following year he moved to the City University of New York where he is now a Distinguished Professor of Physics at Herbert H. Lehman College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the CUNY Graduate School. Chudnovsky is an APS Fellow whose best-known work includes his theory of macroscopic quantum tunneling of magnetization and his theory of amorphous ferromagnets. In the 1990s, he directed Program for Refugee Scientists that resettled over one hundred refugee scientists in the U.S. He paid personal visits and brought international attention to political dissidents abroad. On top of his research papers and presentations, he delivered talks and has penned numerous articles about human rights violations and politically motivated persecution of falsely accused scientists. He served as chair of the APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists and chair of the Committee on Human Rights of Scientists of the New York Academy of Sciences. Since 2011, he has been a co-chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists.