News Release

Carnegie's Vera Rubin to receive Richtmyer Award

Meeting Announcement

Carnegie Institution for Science

Vera Rubin, Carnegie Institution of Washington

image: Carnegie's Vera Rubin is the winner of the 2008 Richtmyer Award. view more 

Credit: Carnegie Institution of Washington

Washington, DC–The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that renowned astrophysicist Vera Rubin, who confirmed the existence of dark matter, has been selected to receive the 2008 Richtmyer Memorial Award. Rubin is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. The award is for her “outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicating those contributions to physics educators.”

Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve observed that “Vera Rubin is a national treasure. She is an accomplished astronomer and a wonderful role model for young scientists. She brings prestige to Carnegie and we congratulate her for this award.”

“The Richtmyer Memorial Award is a fitting honor for Vera,” stated Terrestrial Magnetism director, Sean C. Solomon. “Not only is she an outstanding astrophysicist, but throughout her career she has been a wonderful mentor to younger scientists and she has committed herself to communicating the excitement of science to broad audiences.”

The Richtmyer Award will be presented to Rubin at the winter meeting of the AAPT, Tuesday, January 22, 2008, in the Baltimore, Maryland, Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Rubin will deliver her keynote address entitled “Rotating Galaxies and Dark Matter.”

The Richtmyer Memorial Award is given annually in memory of Floyd K. Richtmyer—physicist, teacher, and administrator who was a founder and president of AAPT. The award has been given annually since 1941.

Past recipients of the award include a long list of giants in the field of physics including Carnegie trustee emeritus Charles H. Townes, who received it in 1959 for his work on masers. A complete list of winners is at


The Carnegie Institution ( has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It is a private, nonprofit organization with six research departments throughout the U.S. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

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