2024 Oersted Medal Winner is Laura H. Greene
2024 Winter Meeting Plenary Speaker
Plenary Talk at WM24
Sunday, January 7
Laura H. Greene has been named as the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Oersted Medal, presented by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The Medal will be awarded at a Ceremonial Session of the AAPT Winter Meeting where she will also deliver a plenary lecture. The Oersted Medal recognizes her outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics.
Greene is Chief Scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Marie Krafft Professor of Physics at Florida State University. She was previously the Swanlund and the Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her undergraduate studies were at The Ohio State University, and after receiving her PhD at Cornell University, she was a post doc at Bell Labs then a member of staff at Bellcore.
Regarding her selection for the Oersted Medal, Greene said, “I was absolutely thrilled and humbled – both in knowing of the previous winners and to be recognized by AAPT!”
In September 2021 Greene was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden to serve as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST), which directly advises him on matters of science and technology including STEM education.
As a leading advocate for diversity in science, a champion for women in science and engineering, science diplomacy, ethics, and human rights, she has held leadership roles in many science organizations nationally and internationally, including the 2017 president of the American Physical Society (APS), the Board of Directors for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and is the Vice President for Ethics and Outreach of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). She has been a member of the U.S. Department of State supported COACh team, and continues to promote the success and impact of women and minority scientists, particularly in developing countries, through their workshops which include negotiation, leadership, networking, publishing, and communication skills.
Greene’s own research is on quantum materials, focusing on the fundamental studies of novel materials and their synthesis, and the mechanisms of unconventional superconductivity. She has co-authored over 200 publications and has presented over 700 invited talks.
The scientific community has recognized Greene’s scientific excellence with many awards and honors. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics (U.K.), the AAAS, and the APS. She received the Tallahassee Scientific Society Gold Medal Award and the American Physical Society Five Sigma Physicist Award for Advocacy in Science Policy has been a Guggenheim Fellow, was awarded the E.O. Lawrence Award for Materials Research from the U.S. Department of Energy, the APS Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, and the Bellcore Award of Excellence.
About the Award
The Oersted Medal is named for Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851), a Danish physicist who, in the course of creating a demonstration for teaching his class, discovered that electric currents cause a magnetic field. This was a crucial step in establishing the theory of electromagnetism so important in building modern technology and modern physics. The award was established by AAPT in 1936 and is given annually to a person who has had outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics. Some previous Oersted award winners are S. James Gates, Shirley Jackson, John Winston Belcher, David Sokoloff, Gay Stewart, George F. Smoot, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Carl Wieman, Lillian McDermott, Hans Bethe, Carl E. Sagan, Edward Purcell, and Richard Feynman. The complete list of recipients can be found at http://www.aapt.org/Programs/awards/oersted.cfm.
AAPT is the premier professional society established to advance the greater good through physics education. With the support of members worldwide, AAPT is an action-oriented organization designed to develop, improve, and promote best practices for physics education as part of the global need for qualified Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teachers who will inspire tomorrow's leaders and decision makers. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.