Former DTM Director Sean C. Solomon Receives the National Medal of Science

Obama Diaries
National Medal of Science. (Credit: The Obama Diaries)
Friday, November 21, 2014 

On Thursday, 20 November 2014, DTM's former director and current director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Sean Solomon, received the 2012 National Medal of Science from President Obama at the White House. This award is the nation's highest honors "for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology." 

Sean Solomon (left) stands next to President Obama (right) before receiving the National Medal of Science on 20 November 2014. (Photo courtesy the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation)

Following the award ceremony, Solomon visited DTM for a champagne toast hosted by his former colleagues to celebrate his immense achievement. 

Sean Solomon's career has been characterized by an uncommon combination of science and leadership.  He established important new paradigms in the Earth and planetary sciences, while simultaneously leading the field of geophysics. Solomon is the principal investigator and creative force behind the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission to Mercury, which has had a bounty of discoveries that have changed what we thought we knew about the innermost planet.  He is an acknowledged leader in the fields of seismology, geophysics, and planetary geology. His scientific research has ranged from oceanographic expeditions on Earth to spacecraft missions to Venus, Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. His fundamental contributions have changed our understanding of the structure and geodynamics of Earth, the Moon, and the terrestrial planets.