Brian Greene

Brian Greene 2012 Richtmyer Award


College Park, Maryland, United States, October 20, 2011—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Brian Greene, Ph.D., has been selected to receive The Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award. Greene is recognized with the Award for outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicating those contributions to physics educators.

The Richtmyer Award will be presented to Dr. Greene at a Ceremonial Session of the AAPT Winter Meeting at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, CA. Following the presentation, he will deliver a keynote address.

Beth Cunningham, AAPT Executive Officer, said, “Brian is a perfect fit for the Richtmyer Award. He is an outstanding physicist who is also an accomplished writer and communicator with the ability to explain his work and engage the public.”

Greene is a graduate of Harvard University where he majored in physics before attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.  After completing his doctorate in 1990 he joined the Cornell University physics faculty.  In 1996 he became a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University.  Widely recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory, Greene is co-founder and director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics.

A popular lecturer and author, Greene’s first book, The Elegant Universe, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.  His next book, The Fabric of the Cosmos spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list.  The Hidden Reality, his latest book, explores the science of parallel universes and is also a New York Times bestseller.

Greene has made many media appearances from David Letterman to Charlie Rose and the NOVA special based on The Elegant Universe, hosted by Greene, was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won the Peabody Award and the French prix Jules Verne Award. A new four-part NOVA special based on The Fabric of the Cosmos, also hosted by Greene, will premier this November on PBS. His children’s story, Icarus at the Edge of Time, has been adapted for live symphonic presentation, with orchestral score by Philip Glass, and premiered at Lincoln Center.

Greene is the co-founder of The World Science Festival, the nation’s premier science celebration for the general public, which draws live audiences in the hundreds of thousands and has been hailed by the New York Times as a “new cultural institution.”
Regarding the award, Greene stated, “I am thrilled to receive the Richtmyer Award, an honor that spans my two passions—pushing the boundaries of fundamental science and helping to spark the public’s enthusiasm for science.”

About the Award
The Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award is given annually in memory of Floyd K. Richtmyer, distinguished physicist, teacher, and administrator. Professor Richtmyer was one of the founders of AAPT and served as its president. As a teacher, author, research worker, and dean, he was the guide for many young physicists who became leaders of American science and has had a wide influence on the development of physics in the United States. The award has been given annually since 1941 to a person who has made outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicated those contributions to physics educators.

The previous recipients of the Richtmyer Award include Kathryn Moler, Vera Rubin, Alex Filippenko, Arthur H. Compton, Enrico Fermi, Philip Morrison, and Steven Chu. The complete list of winners can be found at

About AAPT
AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education—with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics teaching. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications,, (301) 209-3306, (301) 209-0845 (Fax),