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Cosmic Search: Issue 9
(Volume 3 Number 1; Winter 1981)
[Article in magazine started on page 22]

People
By: John Kraus

Photo of Philip Morrison Philip Morrison, Institute Professor and Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the New York Academy of Sciences' Presidential Award. It was presented at the Academy's 163rd Annual Meeting held last December. Dr. Morrison was presented a certificate of citation, a medal, and $1,500 in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments as a distinguished scientist and interpretor of the relationship of science to society. Dr. Morrison then addressed the Academy with a talk entitled: "The Two Dials: Heartbeat and Earthspin."

Dr. Morrison is renowned for his professional contributions to theoretical astrophysics, including work aimed at expanding supernovae cosmic x-rays, disturbed galaxies, quasars and other questions in cosmology.

In addition to his role as a distinguished scientist, Philip Morrison is a respected scholar-philosopher and interpretor of science and technology for the general public. He is a leading expert on and advocate of strategic nuclear arms control. From 1943 to 1946 Dr. Morrison was associated with the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for the development of the first atomic bomb. In later years he opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb and became an unremitting critic of the strategic nuclear arms race. Dr. Morrison was a founding member of the Federation of American Scientists, a distinguished organization dedicated to science and public affairs, and was chairman of the Federation from 1973 to 1976.

The author of more than 75 professional scientific articles and more than 60 articles on science education and science for the general reader, Dr. Morrison is the co-author of two physics texts. In 1960 Professor Morrison received the American Association for the Advancement of Science – Westinghouse Science Writing Prize.

In 1955 Dr. Morrison received the Pregel Prize of The New York Academy of Sciences, and in 1967 the Babson Prize of the Gravity Foundation. During 1968-1969 he presented the 139th series of Christmas lectures in science for children at the Royal Institute of London which were televised by the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 1976, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, Philip Morrison was honored with a special issue of Technology Review.

In 1959 Philip Morrison with Giuseppe Cocconi, both then of Cornell University, published the first realistic strategy for searching for extraterrestrial intelligence to appear in a scientific journal (NATURE, London). By perceptive, incisive reasoning, the authors developed the proposal that a search be made of some of the nearest stars for signals at or near the 21 centimeter wavelength of neutral hydrogen.

On the 20th anniversary of this classic publication, it was reproduced in the premier issue of COSMIC SEARCH (January, 1979). Following it in the same issue of COSMIC SEARCH, Dr. Morrison reflected on the NATURE article with "Twenty Years After..." In this sequel he linked the past to the future with some very sage advice noting that "Whether we are alone in the universe or not needs to rest on experimental search, not on a string of evolutionary inferences."

Dr. Morrison is a member of the Editorial Board of COSMIC SEARCH.

Carl Sagan is now working on his first novel, "Contact," about man's first encounter with extraterrestrial beings. On the basis of Sagan's 115 page outline for the novel, Simon and Schuster is paying $2 million for the rights to publish the book scheduled to appear late this year. Movie rights for "Contact" have been purchased by Polyram Pictures which reportedly is budgeting $40 million to produce the film by late 1983.

Sagan's 13-week TV series "Cosmos" had its first run last fall and is now in re-runs.

Dr. Sagan is a member of the Editorial Board of COSMIC SEARCH.

A Public Contribution of $60,000 from 10,000 individuals was made to NASA in Washington on January 7 of this year in order that there be funds to continue operating the Viking lander on Mars for a couple more months. Organized by a group perturbed about cuts in the NASA budget, the gift demonstrates public concern that the U.S. not fall behind in the exploration of space. With the cooperation of the American Astronautical Society, the group believes that keeping the Viking lander in operation and sending back data on conditions on our neighboring planet is extremely important to our long range space program.
George E. Mueller, Deputy Administrator of NASA for Manned Space Flight during the Apollo missions to the moon, feels that the future of our space program depends in large measure on how well the Space Shuttle succeeds. He says that we are at a turning point where success could revitalize our program but continuing problems could set us way back.

Dr. Mueller points out that cuts in NASA's budget have forced it to concentrate on merely keeping a few existing programs alive with no provision for the long-range planning and development required for expanding or even sustaining our activities in space.

Widely recognized as the father of the Space Shuttle, Mueller believes that mankind's future lies in space. Dr. Mueller is President and Chairman of the Board of System Development Corporation of Santa Monica, California, and a recent past President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Prior to his association with NASA Dr. Mueller was Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Ohio State University.

The Carter administration on January 18, 1981, called for a major, sustained national and international effort to cope with what it said were "increasingly critical global resource, environmental and population problems," according to the New York Times.

A report prepared jointly for the President by the State Department and the Council on Environmental Quality warned that excessive world population growth, dwindling resources and environmental degredation represent serious threats to the political and economic security of the United States.

The 250-page report contains recommendations for action by the United States, in concert with other nations, including a doubling of international resources devoted to family planning, greatly increased food aid, global plans to reverse the depletion of world forests and the spreading of deserts, and the conservation of critical resources such as energy and water.

The new report is a sequel to the "Global 2000 Report to the President," which was issued last summer and warned that, without action to reverse them, current trends would lead "to a more crowded, more polluted, less stable world" by the beginning of the next century.

The suggestions in the report have been offered for consideration and review by the Reagan administration, the Congress and the public. It was pointed out that these world problems affect everyone and transcend party politics.

A Manned Mission to Mars workshop is to be held at the University of Colorado April 29 - May 2, 1981, in order to plan the steps required for such a mission. For more information contact Chris McKay, Dept. of AstroGeophysics, Campus Box 391, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. Tel. 303-444-0861.
The 92nd Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific will be held July 18 to 23, 1981, at the University of Washington, in Seattle.

The program includes: a Symposium entitled "Beyond the Main Sequence: Red Giants, Degenerate Stars, Black Holes, etc.," an Educator's Workshop on Astronomy in the Classroom, a non-technical lecture series on recent developments in astronomy, and a session for amateurs sponsored by the Northwest Region of the Astronomical League.

For more information send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Summer Meeting, A.S.P., 1290 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

JK

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