Ephraim Katzir

Ephraim Katzir, 1979

Ephraim Katzir (1916 - 2009) was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and served as the 4th President of Israel from 1973 to 1978. In 1925, his family immigrated to Palestine and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he eventually completed a Ph.D. in biophysics. He was an assistant in the Hebrew University’s department for theoretical and macromolecular chemistry from 1941 to 1945. In 1949, he was appointed acting head and then head of the department of biophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. In 1951, he spent a sabbatical year at Harvard Medical School. From 1966 to 1968 Katzir was chief scientist of the Israel Defense Ministry.

Hans Bethe

Hans Bethe, 1975

Hans Bethe (1906 - 2005) completed his Ph. D. in theoretical physics in 1928. He then held a position as Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Tubingen, which he lost after fleeing the Nazi regime in Germany. Bethe emigrated to England in 1933 where he held a position as Lecturer at the University of Manchester, and then received a fellowship at the University of Bristol in the fall of 1934. In 1935 he was appointed Assistant Professor at Cornell University, then promoted to Professor in the summer of 1937.

Cyril S. Smith

Cyril S. Smith, 1975

Professor Cyril Stanley Smith (1903 - 1992) had a long and distinguished career as an industrial metallurgist, professor of metallurgy and historian of technology and science at the University of Chicago and at MIT. Although dedicated to active research in physical metallurgy, early in his career he developed a deep interest in the history of his discipline, as well as in the historical interactions of science, technology and art.

Harvey Brooks

Harvey Brooks, 1962

Harvey Brooks (1915 - 2004) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Yale University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1937.  He completed a Ph.D. degree in physics at Harvard University in 1940 under the direction of J.H. van Vleck. In 1946 he joined the staff at General Electric, serving as associate head of the Knolls Atomic Power Lab. He returned to Harvard in 1950, and from 1957 to 1975 served as Dean of the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics. In addition to his research on solid state physics, nuclear engineering, and underwater acoustics, Dr. Brooks devoted his energy to the link between science and public policy. More complete information regarding his career may be found in the proceedings of the American Philosophical Society from December 2010.

Isidor I. Rabi

Isidor I. Rabi, 1962

Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898 - 1988) achieved a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1919, and received his Ph.D. at Cornell in 1927. He spent the next two years in Europe on a fellowship, working with such eminent physicists as Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, and Otto Stern. He then became a Columbia faculty member spent the remainder of his career at the University.

Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr, 1958

Niels Bohr (1885 - 1962) was a Danish physicist who made critical contributions to the understanding of atomic structure and quantum mechanics. He was a professor at the University of Copenhagen, and founded and directed the Institute of Theoretical Physics in 1921. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922, and subsequently collaborated with several world-renowned scientists throughout his career, including Albert Einstein and Albert and Marie Curie. In 1941, Bohr was recruited to work at the top-secret Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico on the Manhattan Project, and became a long-time advocate of scientific openness and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Bohr is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.