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Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award

Paul E. Klopsteg

Paul E. Klopsteg, a founder and former president of AAPT

Established 1990

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. Self-nomination is not appropriate for this award. Preference in the selection of the recipient will be given to members of AAPT.

Award Winners

Listed below are previous winners of the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award as well as information about the address they gave (if applicable).


Donald W. Olson, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
"Celestial Sleuth: Using Physics and Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History, and Literature"


James E. Hansen, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

"Halting Human-Made Climate Change: The Case for Young People and Nature"


Robert Scherrer, Vanderbilt University

"Science and Science Fiction"


Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Address: "The Role of the Scientist as a Public Intellectual"


Michio Kaku, City University of New York, New York, NY

Address: "Physics of the Impossible"


Neil de Grasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director, Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History, New York

Address: "Adventures in Science Illiteracy"


Lisa Randall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Address: "Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions"


Wendy Freedman, Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, CA

Address: "The Accelerating Universe"


Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Address: "Quantum Experiments: From Philosophical Curiosity to a New Technology"


Sylvester Gates, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Address: "Why Einstein Would Love Spaghetti in Fundamental Physics"


Barry C. Barish, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Address: "Catching the Waves with LIGO"


Virginia Trimble, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA

Address: "Cosmology: Man's Place in the Universe"


Terrence P. Walker, The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH

Address: "The Big Bang: Seeing Back to the Beginning"


Michael S. Turner, University of Chicago

Address: "Cosmology: From Quantum Fluctuations to the Expanding Universe"


Sidney R. Nagel, The James Franck Institute

Address: "Physics at the Breakfast Table - Or Waking Up to Physics"


Max Dresden, Stanford University and Stanford Linear Accelerator

Address: "Scales, Macroscopic, Microscopic, Mesoscopic: Their Autonomy and Interrelation"


Margaret Geller, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Optical Infrared Astronomy Division


Peter Franken, University of Arizona

Address: "Municipal Waste, Recycling, and Nuclear Garbage"


David Mermin, Cornell University

Address: "More Quantum Magic"


Charles P. Bean, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York

Address: "An Invitation to Table-Top Physics Inside and in the Open Air"


Gabriel Wienreich, University of Michigan at Anne Arbor

Address: "What Science Knows about Violins And What It Doesn't Know," Am. J. Phys.61, 1067 (1993).


Paul K. Hansman, University of California at Santa Barbara

Address: "Seeing Atoms with the New Generation of Microscopes," Am. J. Phys. 59, 1067 (1991).