Saturday, December 13, 2003

Web News From the Physics Today, a publication by the American Institute of Physics

Web News From the Physics Today, a publication by the American Institute of Physics

Chinese science prize. China now has its first seven-figure science prize. Hong Kong-based billionaire Run Run Shaw has established three $1 million prizes to be awarded annually to scientists in astronomy, mathematics, and life and medical sciences. The prizes will recognize breakthroughs "in academic and scientific research or applications, and [researchers] whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind."

The first of the Shaw Prizes will be awarded in June 2004, and "it is possible, and probable, that we may include prizes in other fields in the future," says Koon-Fai Chor, secretary general of the Shaw Prize Foundation, which administers the awards.

"Societal progress has always depended on the tireless efforts of men and women of great talent," he says. "The Shaw Prize is established as a tribute to these pioneers and an encouragement to men and women dedicated to the advancement of civilization." Further information can be found at pkg

Physics server adds biology. One of the oldest and most popular physics preprint servers has created a new section for quantitative biology at Before launched q-bio, roughly 40 submissions per month were related to biology. Those papers were split between the existing physics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, and mathematics subdisciplines hosted by Since the launch of q-bio--which incorporates the existing biological content in the archive-biology-related submissions have increased by a factor of two, says founder Paul Ginsparg of Cornell University.

The drive to create the new preprint section came from pressure within the quantitative biology community to have a centralized archive to share their results, say q-bio coordinators Terry Hwa of the University of California, San Diego, and Michael Lässig of the University of Cologne in Germany. "The hope is that concentrating them in one place will facilitate the growth of this community and perhaps attract readers and ultimately submitters from conventional areas of biology," adds Ginsparg. pkg

History prize honors Pais. The American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics have established the Abraham Pais Award for the History of Physics. The award will be bestowed annually in recognition of "outstanding scholarly achievements in the history of physics." Open to scholars worldwide, the award will be shared by up to three people in any given year. Winners will split the $5000 purse and receive travel funds to deliver an invited talk at an APS meeting.

A renowned theoretical particle physicist and historian of physics, Pais is best known among historians for his book, Subtle is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (American Philological Association, 1982), which won the 1983 American Book Award in Science. Pais died in 2000 (see the obituary in Physics Today, May 2001, page 79).

The first Pais award will be announced in 2005. Nominations are due by 1 May 2004. For additional information, see tf

Reprinted From Physics Today,
Copyright 2003 American Institute of Physics

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