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Daniel Chalonge Medal 2011 awarded to John Mather

Ecole Internationale d’Astrophysique Daniel Chalonge

The International Astrophysics School Daniel Chalonge has awarded the Daniel Chalonge Medal 2011 to Dr. John C. Mather, Nobel Laureate 2006 for the outstanding results of the COBE satellite, and present Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (College Park, Maryland, USA).

The medal was awarded to John Mather for his huge contribution to modern cosmology, in particular for his outstanding effort in promoting and leading key missions for the study of the Universe, as the COBE satellite and now the JWST, deeply discussed in the frame of the Chalonge School and the training and formation of young physicists and astrophysicists. He also contributed to ground observation programs leading advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the NSF (for the ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and for the CARA, the Center for Astrophysical Research in the Antarctic). As Senior Project Scientist for the JWST, John Mather successfully leads the science team, and represents the scientific interests within the project management.

The medal was presented to John Mather on 22th July 2011 during the Open Session of the 15th Paris Cosmology Colloquium 2011 at the Observatoire de Paris HQ (historic Perrault building) in the Cassini Hall, on the meridian of Paris, which was attended by about hundred participants from the world over, among them three laureate of the Chalonge Medal: George Smoot, Nobel laureate of physics, Anthony Lasenby and Peter Biermann. John Mather brilliantly presented the JWST Program, the large infrared-optimized space telescope planned to operate from 2018 as the best successor for the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. The Chalonge Medal represents too a warm acknowledgement and support to Dr. John Mather’s present and future activities in the JWST.

The Chalonge Medal, coined exclusively for the Chalonge School by the prestigious Hotel de la Monnaie de Paris (the French Mint), is a surprise award and only eight Chalonge medals have been awarded in the 20 year school history.

The list of the awarded Chalonge Medals is the following:

1991: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel prize of physics
1992: Bruno Pontecorvo
2006: George Smoot, Nobel prize of physics
2007: Carlos Frenk
2008: Anthony Lasenby
2008: Bernard Sadoulet
2009: Peter Biermann
2011: John Mather

Science with great intellectual endeavour and a human face. True and healthy science. Outstanding gentleperson scientists. Scientists recipients of the Daniel Chalonge Medal are Ambassadors of the School.

See the announcement, full history, photo gallery and links at:

Click on “The Daniel Chalonge Medal 2011”:

and Archives Daniel Chalonge:

One of the aims of the Chalonge School is to bring the attention to new programs which will produce a clearer and deeper understanding of the Universe with both innovative experiments and theory. During the 15th Paris Cosmology Colloquium 2011, the  Chalonge School has made the following statement in support to the James Webb Space Telescope:

“The Ecole Internationale Daniel Chalonge considers that  JWST is an exceptional opportunity for the future of astrophysics and astronomy worldwide. The Ecole Internationale Daniel Chalonge recognizes the outstanding scientific value  of the JWST project, its potentiality and worldwide  impact and strongly supports its development and successful completion.”

Norma G. Sanchez (1), Héctor J. de Vega (2), Maria Cristina Falvella (3), Alba Zanini (4)
(1) Director of the International Daniel Chalonge School,  CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, France. (2) CNRS, University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris, France. (3) Italian Space Agency HQ, Rome, Italy. (4) Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Turin, Italy

With compliments and kind regards,

Norma G. Sanchez, Hector J. de Vega
Ecole Chalonge <chalonge.ecole[AT]>