Perimeter Director Neil Turok has been named an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP) – the highest honour awarded by the British association.
The honorary fellowships recognize exceptional individuals who have contributed to global physics. The list of IOP honorary fellows includes Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Freeman Dyson, Stephen Hawking, and Peter Higgs.
Turok was cited for “his important scientific contributions, and for the impact his humanistic vision and innovative actions as a scientist are having on international physics and on the African continent.” He was one of six honorary fellows announced.
“Such exemplary individuals hopefully inspire others to strive for equivalent excellence in their own endeavours, demonstrating the positive impact physicists and physics may have on the world,” said IOP president Roy Sambles.
The honorary fellowship will be presented at a ceremony in London on November 29.
The IOP announcement comes just weeks after Turok was named the John Wheatley Award recipient for 2017 by the American Physical Society for his work founding and leading the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).
Awarded once every two years, the John Wheatley Award recognizes physicists who have contributed to the development of physics in third-world countries. The APS lauded Turok for his “visionary efforts to provide science and math training to young Africans, [and] to help promote technological and socio-economic development on that continent.”
It’s been a big year for the noted cosmologist. In October, Turok presented this year’s Gerald Whitrow Lecture at the Royal Astronomical Society in London. Given every two years, the lecture is presented by a distinguished speaker on a foundational topic in cosmology. In November, Turok was awarded the John Torrence Tate Medal for International Leadership in Physics.