PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
E-mail: press@centerforinquiry.net

CFI Awards Lawrence Krauss for ‘Scholarship in the Public Interest’ at World Congress

April 17, 2009

Internationally known theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss is no stranger to sharing science with the public. As a professor at Arizona State University in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Krauss actively engages and educates  students, yet his influence extends far beyond the campus community. In recognition of his high-level involvement in issues of science and society coupled with his efforts to educate the public about science, Krauss was honored this month with an award for Scholarship in the Public Interest at the Center for Inquiry’s 12th World Congress on Science, Public Policy, and the Planetary Community.

The award was presented to Krauss at a special ceremony at the Center for Inquiry (CFI) event. The World Congress brought together more than 30 of the brightest minds and international voices in science to discuss, promote, and defend science. Scientists, philosophers, writers, and politicians convened April 9-12 for panel discussions and talks focusing on the global state of science, and the role, importance and future of science in Bethesda, Md.

“We decided to give the award to Professor Krauss based not simply on one specific project or book of his, but rather based on the many years that he has devoted to defending science in the public and political arenas, including, but not limited, to his vigorous and tireless efforts in defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools,” said Ronald Lindsay, CFI president and chief executive officer. “I believe Lawrence clearly merited this award because he is not only one of our nation’s most prominent scientists, he is not only a very skilled writer, he is not only an outstanding educator, but he is also a scholar who has not confined his work to the ivory towers, but instead has generously volunteered his time and energy to the critical endeavor of advancing the public’s appreciation of science.”

CFI and its affiliates have given awards in the past to scholars, scientists and writers who the organization believes have contributed to the public understanding of science. Prior recipients include Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould, Elizabeth Loftus, Martin Gardner and Leon Lederman.

The citation on Krauss’ award reads: “In Recognition of His Outstanding Contributions in Defense of Scientific Inquiry and on Behalf of Improving the Public’s Understanding and Appreciation of Science.”

Krauss is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 1999-2000 Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology, the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the Andrew Gemant Award, the Oersted Medal, and the Joseph P. Burton Forum Award.

This latest honor for Krauss came just days after the close of the highly publicized Origins Symposium at ASU, which launched the Origins Initiative at ASU. Krauss is director of the initiative.

“I was humbled and overwhelmed by the honor, and the great appreciation shown by the delegates in attendance for my work on science and society,” said Krauss. “I believe it is vital for scientists like myself to ensure that science is used for the public good, and I greatly appreciate that the Center for Inquiry feels strongly enough about this that they were willing to honor me for my efforts.”

“If we are ever to overcome the lamentable scientific illiteracy that is all too prevalent in this country, we desperately need scientists such as Lawrence Krauss who are willing to bridge the gulf between science and popular culture,” said Lindsay. ”ASU is very fortunate to have Lawrence.”