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Drell honored with Wick Award

The Gian Carlo Wick Commemorative Medal has been awarded to physicist Sidney Drell, professor and deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The award from the World Federation of Scientists was presented at a formal ceremony at the World Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Nov. 22.

Drell was honored for his "outstanding contributions to particle physics and for his unceasing efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons." He expressed pleasure that the award notes his achievements in world peace as well as physics. "We can derive genuine satisfaction from recent progress with the overwhelming approval of a true comprehensive test ban treaty at the United Nations General Assembly just two months ago," he said.

Drell serves on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He has been a consultant to the National Security Council and the Arms Control Board, and has served as chair of the JASON study on nuclear testing.

Wick, for whom the award is named, conducted research on atomic theory and taught at several universities: Carnegie Tech, UC-Berkeley and Columbia. Wick was fired from Berkeley in 1950 for refusing to sign a loyalty oath that had been imposed on the faculty, an oath that was later found to be unconstitutional.

Past recipients of the award are physicists Freeman Dyson (Institute for Advanced Study); Victor Weisskopf (MIT) and Yoichiro Nambu (University of Chicago).

In his remarks accepting the award, Drell said that Wick's "elegant studies have provided the language fundamental to essentially all subsequent theoretical work in quantum field theory and scattering processes."


By David F. Salisbury

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