By Sean Carroll | November 28, 2008 11:43 am

Slightly belated congratulations go out to our very own John Conway, for being chosen as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The citation reads as follows:

Conway, John S.
University of California, Davis
Citation: For outstanding contributions in the search for the Higgs boson and physics beyond the Standard Model at high energy particle accelerators.
Nominated by: Particles and Fields (DPF)

And even more belated congratulations to our very own JoAnne Hewett, for being chosen last year, which I totally missed!

Hewett, Joanne
Stanford University
Citation: For her contributions to our understanding of constraints on and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model, and service to the particle physics community leading studies of future experiments.
Nominated by: Particles and Fields (DPF)

This is a great honor, which indicates that the newly-minted Fellow has advanced past a stage of callow youth and cheerful enthusiasm, to a status of grey eminence and profound wisdom. Those of us remaining in the youthful stage will endeavor to show proper respect.

  • Daily Physics

    Whoop whoop! Big up for Conway and Hewett – congratulations. Some very nice work has come from these two. I actually got to go to a talk by John Conway at CU Boulder. He was discussing experiments at the LHC. Informative and appealing!

  • astromcnaught

    Wow, fantastic. May the honours not diminish your enthusiasms for blogging!

    And that ‘grey eminence’ bit might just get you killed Sean.

  • spyder

    I believe this is the point where the really old curmudgeons (grey eminences) gruffly, yet passionately, release some hurumps and clang their pewter mugs of Pimms #7. “Well done, by Jove, well done,” “smashing good that” and so forth.

  • John

    Thank you, Sean!

  • JoAnne

    Sean will have to drag me, kicking and screaming, into grey eminence. It’s no wonder he missed my nomination last year since I show absolutely no sign of either grey or eminence. 😉

  • Alan Haggard

    Congratulations to you both. My sincerest hope is that this honor may inspire you to continue your valued work and to attain even higher achievements from this day forth.

  • Fermi-Walker Public Transport

    Yes, congratulations to you both.

  • Lab Lemming

    Congratulations to both. But I was wondering:
    Is there a fundamental difference in their respective contributions that cause one to be modified with “outstanding” and the other to be modified with “her”?

  • Jeff

    Well, Lab Lemming, the difference in wording clearly indicates that the American Physical Society is SEXIST! Even the bestowed title of “fellow” is gender-loaded!

    Or, maybe, the difference in wording merely indicates that the writer of the first accolade is more inclined to color his (or HER) prose with superlatives, irrespective of gender, as compared to the writer of the second accolade, and both awardees are equally deserving of their awards.

    You decide!

  • Lab Lemming

    With only two citations, I have insufficient data to chose intelligently.

    There have been suggestions that recommendation writers on the whole have a tendency to undersell female scientists.

    Looking for correlations between superlatives and gender in a list of fellows (where presumably everyone is great) might help illuminate this hypothesis.

    For anyone interested in doing so, here’s the 2006 list:


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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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