Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Frederick Seitz


At its Annual Award Dinner on November 2, at which Thomas J. Donohue will be honored with our Annual Award, Atlantic Legal will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to its Director Emeritus, Dr. Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus of The Rockefeller University.

Frederick Seitz was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1911. He received his Bachelors degree from Stanford in 1932 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1934. He has written some classic works in physics including Modern Theory of Solids (1940), was co-editor of the series Solid State Physics (started in 1954), and examined the evolution of science in The Science Matrix (1992). He wrote his autobiography On The Frontier: My Life in Science in 1994 and published Stalins Captive: Nikolaus Riehl and the Soviet Race for the Bomb in 1995. The University of Illinois published his most recent book, Electronic Genie, The Tangled History of Silicon in Electronics (1997).

Seitzs early career included positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and General Electric. During World War II, he worked for the National Defense Research Committee, the Manhattan District, and as a consultant to the Secretary of War. From 1946 to 1947 he was director of the training program on peaceful uses of atomic energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Appointed professor of physics at the University of Illinois in 1949, Seitz became department chair in 1957 and a dean and vice president for research in 1964. He joined The Rockefeller University as its president in 1968 and is now president emeritus of the university.

Dr. Seitz was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951, serving as part-time president for three years before assuming full-time responsibility in 1965, serving until 1968. He has served as advisor to NATO, the Presidents Science Advisory Committee, the Office of Naval Research, the National Cancer Advisory Board, the Smithsonian Institution, and other national and international agencies. He has been honored with the Franklin Medal (1965), the Compton Medalthe highest award of the American Institute of Physics (1970), the National Medal of Science (1973), two NASA Public Service awards (1969 and 1979), the National Science Foundations Vannevar Bush Award (1983), National Academy of Engineerings Distinguished Honoree Award (1995), as well as honorary degrees from over 32 universities worldwide. In 1993, the University of Illinois renamed its Material Research Laboratory in Dr. Seitzs honor. Stanford University has honored him with the Hoover Medal and Princeton University with the Madison Medal. In 1997 the Council of the Smithsonian Institution presented him with the Joseph Henry Medal.