Science writer awarded physics prize


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Elizabeth Thomson
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Marcia Bartusiak, a visiting professor in MIT's graduate program in science writing, joins venerable physicists in receiving the American Institute of Physics' Gemant Award. The Gemant Award annually recognizes the accomplishments of a person who has made significant contributions to cultural, artistic or humanistic dimensions of physics.

Bartusiak is the author of numerous popular books on astronomy and cosmology, including "Einstein's Unfinished Symphony," "Thursday's Universe," "Through a Universe Darkly" and most recently, "Archives of the Universe."

The citation for her award reads, "The Andrew W. Gemant Award is presented to Marcia Bartusiak for a body of work that has won high praise from critics, scientists and general audiences alike. Her books have been widely read, translated into four languages and have been especially successful in transmitting physics and astronomy to the public. Her reputation for detail and accuracy coupled with her clear writing and thorough understanding of the science and personalities behind the topic has made her an eloquent spokesman for what is important in science."

Bartusiak received the 2006 Gemant award on Sunday, Jan. 7, at this year's American Association of Physics Teachers and American Astronomical Association joint meeting. In addition to receiving a $5,000 cash award, Bartusiak will also designate an academic institution to receive a grant of $3,000 to further the public communication of physics.

Other members of the MIT faculty who have received the prize include the late Institute Professor Emeritus Philip Morrison and Professor Alan Lightman of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 24, 2007 (download PDF).


Topics: Literature, languages and writing, Physics, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty

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