Charles Bennett and his team of researchers have mapped their way to scientific rock-star status with their so-called Standard Model of Cosmology, which effectively serves as a guide to the inception, makeup and expansion of our universe.
Over the past year, you’ve probably heard Johns Hopkins researchers Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson on the radio, or read about their work in the newspaper. Their decades-long research into the life trajectories of several hundred Baltimore children revealed a ton of fascinating–and depressing–information.
The rewards of a career in academia are many. There’s the thrill of research discoveries, the pleasure of teaching, the joy of serving on faculty committees… okay, maybe not so much that last one. And as of next year, professors at Johns Hopkins can look forward to one more potential reward: The university just announced a major new annual prize for faculty members, worth a cool quarter of a million dollars.
No one goes into theoretical physics for the money. If you’ve got the brains to handle those kinds of abstract, fundamental questions, you may win yourself a nice professorship, but since your ideas can’t be easily converted into medicines or weapons, you’re not likely to bring home the really big bucks.
That’s why the Simons Investigator program was launched in 2012: it provides support to mathematicians, theoretical computer scientists, and theoretical physicists — $100,000 per year for five years, with an optional five-year renewal after that. Hopkins physics professor Marc Kamionkowski is one of the six recipients of this year’s award.