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Taylor elected to Royal Society of London

Richard Taylor, physics professor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and 1990 Nobel Prize winner, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. Each year 40 new Fellows are elected by merit, not field, and membership is limited to those who are citizens of Great Britain or the British Commonwealth.

The society, an independent scientific academy founded in 1660 by Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle and Robert Moray, began with the aim of promoting public understanding of science. That aim continues with a broad range of services such as meetings, exhibits and scientific exchanges. The society motto, Nullius in Verba, reflects the group's philosophy that statements must be verified by facts. Taylor will travel to London in the near future for his induction, part of which requires that he sign the society's membership book, which includes such famous names as Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday.

Taylor, a Canadian citizen, received his doctorate at Stanford in 1962. Four years later he was appointed to the faculty at SLAC, a national research facility funded by the Department of Energy. His research helped provide new insight on the internal structure of the proton and neutron, the particles in the nucleus of the atom. By analyzing the pattern of electrons scattered by protons and neutrons, he provided some of the first evidence that protons and neutrons are made up of much smaller particles, now known as quarks. He was recognized for the importance of this contribution in 1990, when he received the Nobel Prize jointly with J.F. Friedman and H.W. Kendall.


By David F. Salisbury