Fellowships for US lab directors

Two associate directors of US particle-physics laboratories were among the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive awards as new fellows at the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting in St Louis, Missouri, on 18 February. They join other leading figures in US particle physics and related fields that were elected as new fellows by the AAAS Council during 2005.

Swapan Chattopadhyay, associate director for accelerators at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), was awarded the distinction of fellow for his "fundamental contributions to accelerator science, including phase-space cooling, innovative collider designs and pioneering femto-sources, and for mentoring accelerator scientists at facilities worldwide, especially in developing countries". He is responsible for all aspects of Jefferson Lab's accelerator and Free-Electron Laser (FEL) programmes, including R&D and operations, maintenance and upgrades of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility and the FEL.

Samuel Aronson, associate laboratory director for high-energy and nuclear physics (HENP) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, became a fellow for his "leadership in the science and management of experimental particle physics, especially heavy-ion physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory". The HENP directorate encompasses the Collider-Accelerator Department, the Physics Department, the Superconducting Magnet Division, the Instrumentation Division and the Center for Accelerator Physics.

Neil V Baggett, advisor for planning and communication in the high-energy physics programme of the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy, was also elected as a fellow. He receives the honour "for significant achievements in fundamental physics research and for important contributions to the research and educational programmes of the US Department of Energy".

In cosmology and astroparticle physics, Michael Turner, astronomy and astrophysics professor at the University of Chicago, was honoured "for his exceptional research in the evolution of the earliest universe, explaining its significance to the public, and for co-founding the interdisciplinary field of particle physics and cosmology".

Lastly, C W Francis Everitt, research professor at the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory of Stanford University also became a AAAS fellow. Everitt is principal investigator for Gravity Probe B, the NASA satellite launched in April 2004 that uses four ultra-precise gyroscopes to make precise measurements of the geodetic effect and the frame-dragging effect predicted by the general theory of relativity.

Honorary degree for CERN's Fabio Sauli

The celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Université de Haute Alsace in Mulhouse in October 2005 culminated in a ceremony to award CERN's Fabio Sauli the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. The distinction, presented by Guy Schultz, university president, honours Sauli's lifelong activity in the development of advanced detectors for particle physics.

Under Sauli's direction, CERN's Gas Detectors Development group - which was founded and led for many years by Georges Charpak - has continued to contribute many innovations to the field and to the training of a generation of scientists. Schultz himself was Sauli's doctoral student in the 1970s, and participated in developing high-accuracy drift chambers. The most recent development in the group, the Gas Electron Multiplier, has been adopted by experiments both at CERN and worldwide, owing to its exceptional performance with extreme particle fluxes.

Having reached the CERN age limit, Sauli retires this month, but intends to continue his scientific work in association with INFN-Trieste, contributing to the design of experiments making use of novel technologies, and lecturing on advanced instrumentation at various universities.