William A. Fowler, Institute Professor of Physics, gave the George Darwin Lecture to the Royal Astronomical Society in London on December 14. His talk, "High Temperature Nuclear Astrophysics," summarized the work being done in this field at Caltech's Kellogg Radiation Laboratory.
The George Darwin Lecture was endowed in 1926 by Sir James Jeans, who stipulated that it be on some subject of interest to astronomers and that the lecturer, if possible, should be someone from outside the British Isles. The lectures have been given almost annually since 1927, and 7 of the 43 speakers have been Caltech faculty members or staff members of the Hale Observatories Ð Edwin P. Hubble, Walter Baade, Albrecht Unsold, Ira S. Bowen, Robert F. Christy, Sir Fred Hoyle, and Fowler.
Allan R. Sandage, staff member of the Hale Observatories, has received the Elliott Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute "for his skill, dedication, and keen insight in conceiving, conducting, and interpreting astronomical observations, and especially for his fundamental contributions to observational cosmology."
Sandage is a Caltech alumnus (PhD '53) and has been a staff member of the observatories for more than 20 years. His research is concerned with the structure and age of the universe Ð a subject he discussed in "Opening the Last Frontier" (E&S, March‑April 1973).
The Franklin Institute, which awards the Cresson Medal, is a research and educational organization founded in 1824 in Philadelphia.
Clarence R. Allen, professor of geology and geophysics, was elected president of the 10,000‑member Geological Society of America at the society's annual meeting in Dallas. Allen is in charge of the Southern California Seismological Network at Caltech's Seismological Laboratory and is an authority on earthquakes and fault systems. He is a 1949 graduate of Reed College, earned a Caltech MS in 1951 and PhD in 1954, and has been on the Institute faculty since 1955.
Robert Vaughan, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation of New York. (The Institute also received $3,000 to help cover the costs of administering the grant.) Vaughan is one of 16 young scientists selected from 101 candidates nominated by American universities and colleges as outstanding teachers and scholars in chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering.
Vaughan, 32, will use his grant to support his own research in solid state and surface chemistry and also to help support undergraduate research projects he is involved in. He is the fourth Caltech faculty member to be awarded a Dreyfus grant since the award was created in 1970. Robert Bergman won an award in 1970, Jesse Beauchamp in 1971, and John Seinfeld in 1972.
Robert Bacher, professor of physics, has been elected president of the Universities Research Association, Inc. URA includes 51 member universities in the United States (plus the University of Toronto) and operates the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, under a contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Bacher has been a member of URA's board of directors since the organization was formed in 1965. He was chairman of Caltech's division of physics, mathematics and astronomy from 1949 to 1962 and vice president and provost from 1962 to 1970.
Thanks to a $7,000 grant from the Graves Award Committee, Stuart A. Ende, assistant professor of English, will spend next summer in London. He will be doing research at the Keats House, the residence in which John Keats lived during his most creative period. It is now a repository for the poet's papers, particularly those that deal with his literary relationship to other poets. Ende is interested in the influence of Milton and Wordsworth on Keats's development, and he plans to write a book on the subject.
Graves awards are made to promising young faculty members under the age of 36 to increase their effectiveness as humanities teachers. Ende is 31. The funds for the Graves awards are administered by Pomona College under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley recently appointed two Caltech faculty members to his Energy Policy Committee Ð Lester Lees, director of the Environmental Quality Laboratory and professor of environmental engineering and aeronautics; and Irving Bengelsdorf, lecturer and director of science communication.
The committee includes representatives from business, industry, labor, environmentalist groups, science, and the academic community. They are making suggestions to the mayor on both short- and long‑term programs for alleviating the energy crisis in Los Angeles.
As head of EQL, Lees is in the thick of developing programs to combat the problems of environmental pollution; he has been particularly interested in subway rapid transit systems.
Bengelsdorf was science editor of the Los Angeles Times for several years before coming to Caltech. Prior to that he was senior scientist for the U.S. Borax Research Corporation, Anaheim, and research group leader for Texaco-U.S. Rubber Research Center in New Jersey.