UC Berkeley News



16 March 2006

Birgeneau to receive AAAS Founders Award this weekend

As part of a program commemorating the 225th anniversary of the founding of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will receive a special Founders Award from the academy on Saturday, March 18. He is one of three Bay Area leaders of "higher education and creative institutions" to be so honored at the presentation, which will take place at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio, in San Francisco.

The other two honorees are John Hennessy, president of Stanford University, and filmmaker George Lucas.

The AAAS notes that Birgeneau "has distinguished himself as one of the world's most cited experimental physicist and a relentless advocate for access to higher education." The academy recognizes him for his "abiding commitment to excellence in teaching and research and a long-standing determination to uphold the principles of access and inclusion."

Said Leslie Berlowitz, the AAAS's chief executive officer: "In recognizing Birgeneau, Hennessy, and Lucas, we also salute the institutions that they lead - Cal Berkeley (and the entire University of California system), Stanford University, and Lucasfilm. Each organization has made a profound and lasting impact on the region and the world."

Birgeneau's Founders Award citation will be read by Randy Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology and a member of the academy's governing council, prior to its presentation to the chancellor by AAAS President Patricia Meyer Spacks.

Jerome Karabel, Yuri Slezkine

Two Berkeley faculty members were among 19 honorees in this year's National Jewish Book Awards competition, the winners of which were announced late last month by the Jewish Book Council in New York.

Jerome Karabel, professor of sociology, was the winner in the American Jewish History category, for his book The Chosen: The Hidden History of Exclusion at Harvard, Yale and Princeton (Houghton Mifflin). The book was the subject of an interview with Karabel published in the Berkeleyan on Oct. 12, 2005.

Yuri Slezkine, professor of history, was the winner of the Ronald S. Lauder Award for Eastern European Studies, for his book The Jewish Century (Princeton Univer-sity Press).

The award ceremony will take place on April 26 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

Marc Davis

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has awarded Professor of Astronomy and Physics Marc Davis the 2006 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics. Davis is being recognized "for his pioneering work on the large-scale structure in the universe and his innovative and influential contributions to observations, simulations, and instrumentation, and his outstanding mentoring of students, as examples of outstanding work in the field of astrophysics."

The prize is awarded by the AIP and the American Astronomical Society, the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Dannie Heineman was an engineer, business executive, and admirer of the accomplishments of physicists and astrophysicists.

Tom Torlakson

The Alumni Associations of the University of California presented its annual Legislator of the Year award to state Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), a Berkeley alum, at a March 7 reception following the annual UC Day in Sacramento. In addition, the group gave its Advocate of the Year award to eight business leaders for their efforts to alert state-government officials to the importance of UC to the business community and the state.