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Don LincolnDon Lincoln Named as Recipient of the 2024 Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award


College Park, Maryland, United States, February 16, 2024—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Don Lincoln, physicist, teacher, and writer, is the 2024 recipient of the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award. The lecture and award will be presented during the AAPT Summer Meeting.

This award recognizes educators who have made notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.  Lincoln is recognized specifically “For passionate and profound career-long impact in sharing the excitement of contemporary physics topics in ways that interest and inform the general public about the relevance and importance of fundamental physics from cosmology to high energy particle physics through prolific and impactful communication and world-class public outreach programs.”

As a staff scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lincoln is prolific as a science writer, producer of video content for the general public, productive public speaker, and a strong supporter of educational content for teachers.

Regarding his selection to receive the 2024 Klopsteg Award Lincoln said, "I was honored to have been nominated and am surprised to have won.  I’ve had two goals as a science communicator: to share with people the excitement of scientific discovery and to inspire my colleagues to join me.  This award will help me do both of these things better.”

A passionate popularizer of physics and astronomy Lincoln has penned several books for the public and students alike including Einstein's Unfinished Dream: Practical Progress Towards a Theory of Everything (2023), Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos (2004), The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider (2009), and Alien Universe (2013). Having a far reach in his communications to the general public, he has written for Scientific American, NOVA, LiveScience, BigThink, and CNN.

While his magazine articles are a potent influence and vehicle for communicating contemporary physics, perhaps Lincoln’s most visible efforts are seen through his remarkable video presence.  He is the presenter in over 150 YouTube videos for Fermilab’s YouTube channel, with over 770,000 subscribers and 74,000,000 views. One of his most viewed episodes is “What is a Higgs Boson?” which is perhaps not so surprising since he was part of the team that is credited with the discovery of this fundamental particle. He has also produced several video physics courses for The Great Courses/Wondrium company, each 12 hours of content on modern physics topics.

Also notable are his extensive public lecture appearances, which include several TED talks, and more recently, high profile presentations for New Scientist (“Fermilab: solving the mysteries of matter and energy, space and time”) and the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2, “The Science of Star Trek”). His popularity can be seen with his frequent collaborations with local science clubs (such as the Bay Area Skeptics), Society of Physics Students (SPS) regional student meetings, and his video content. His videos have been watched millions of times and are shown in undergraduate classrooms around the world.

About the Award
Named for Paul E. Klopsteg, a principal founder, a former AAPT President, and a long-time member of AAPT, the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award recognizes outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public. The recipient delivers the Klopsteg Lecture at an AAPT Summer Meeting on a topic of current significance and at a level suitable for a non-specialist audience and receives a monetary award, an Award Certificate, and travel expenses to the meeting.

Previous Awardees

About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact David Wolfe, Director of Communications, dwolfe@aapt.org, (301)209-3322, (301)209-0845 (Fax)