The Magellanic Premium of the American Philosophical Society

Established by a gift of 200 guineas by John Hyacinth de Magellan of London in 1786 "for a gold medal to be awarded from time to time under prescribed terms, to the author of the best discovery or most useful invention relating to navigation, astronomy, or natural philosophy (mere natural history only excepted.)." The Magellanic Premium is the nation's oldest medal for scientific achievement.


Recipients

2008

Margaret J. Geller

for pioneering observations of the universe that revealed galaxies arranged in extended thin structures connecting huge clusters of galaxies, all surrounding enormous regions devoid of galaxies, "like a slice through the suds in a kitchen sink".

 


2004

John E. Carlstrom

for his role in measuring the anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background, and especially for his use of instruments based at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. This work uses the properties of one of the very harshest and most remote of places on the earth's surface to measure the state of our universe, very long ago.

 


2002

Wendy Freedman

for her role in determining the distances to 18 nearby galaxies with unprecedented accuracy, using the Hubble Space Telescope. She was the leader of the Key Project team, an extraordinary effort involving 27 scientists who collaborated to measure the expansion of the universe. Her careful science, strong leadership, and articulate presentations have helped to lead observational cosmology into the 21st century.

 


2000

S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell

for discovering the first four pulsars in 1967, thereby initiating a field of science that has flourished for a third of a century.

 


1997

Bradford W. Parkinson

for essential contributions to creating the Global Positioning System, thereby making the tools for precision navigation available to everyone.

Roger Easton

for essential contributions to creating the Global Positioning System, thereby making the tools for precision navigation available to everyone.

 


1994

Gordon H. Pettengill

One of the foremost radar astronomers of the past half century, who deserves major credit for the emerging picture of Venus, derived from the data gathered by the Magellan Spacecraft.

 


1992

Edward C. Stone

scientific leader of the Voyager grand tour of the solar system planets.

 


1990

Joseph H. Taylor

for confirming Einstein's theory of gravitational waves from a binary star system.

 


1988

George C. Weiffenbach

". . . the entire group at Johns's Hopkins Applied Physics laboratory who developed this navigational satellite system, but in particular the first pioneers of the Doppler orbit technique [Guier and Weiffenbach]

William H. Guier

The highly precise system, the Transit Satellite Navigational System.

 


1984

J. Frank Jordon

For his role in the Voyager encounters with Jupiter, Saturn and their Satellite.

 


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