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Title: Herman Winick Accepts Andrei Sakharov Prize
Publication: SAR Press Release
Author: Scholars at Risk
Country: United States
Published Date:
March 04, 2010


March 4, 2010 – Herman Winick, SAR Scholar-Advocate and Professor emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and the Applied Physics Department of Stanford University, accepted the 2010 Andrei Sakharov Prize at the meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) last week in Washington D.C. Also accepting the award were Joseph Birman of the City College of New York and the City University of New York, and Morris (Moishe) Pripstein of the National Science Foundation. The Andrei Sakharov Prize is an honor awarded every two years by the APS in recognition of scientists who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievements in upholding human rights. Winick has worked tirelessly on behalf of human rights throughout his career and has been instrumental in the success stories of several SAR scholars.

Winick received his PhD in physics from Columbia University and worked in experimental high energy physics at the University of Rochester in the late 1950s, then as Assistant Director of the Cambridge Electron Accelerator at Harvard University from 1959-1973. In 1973 he moved to Stanford University to direct the technical design of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project. For the past 30 years he has played a leadership role in the development of synchrotron radiation sources and research around the world. He has served on review and advisory committees for projects in Armenia, Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Jordan, Russia, Thailand and the U.S.

Winick began focusing on human rights activities in the 1980s when he worked on behalf of dissidents from the Soviet Union, China and other countries. In the years since, he has chaired the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on International Freedom of Scientists and the APS Forum on International Physics. In 2005 he received the Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientists Award from the New York Academy of Sciences. He has mobilized Nobel Prize laureates to campaign on behalf of imprisoned scholars and secured funding and teaching opportunities for threatened academics. Several SAR scholars have been able to continue their work in safety thanks to Winick’s efforts.

In 1997 Winick also co-founded the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) collaboration, a synchrotron facility currently under construction in Jordan. One of goals of this collaboration is to foster relationships between scientists so that they are aware and able to defend international colleagues if they are persecuted by their home governments.

“Individual scientists, like myself, and professional societies like APS and ACS, play an important role in supporting colleagues who are persecuted by government,” Winick stated. “Scholars at risk, who have courageously stood up for human rights and democracy in their own countries, deserve all the support we can give them.”

Scholars at Risk congratulates Herman Winick and applauds his effective and steadfast advocacy on the behalf of human rights.

Scholars at Risk is an international network of universities and colleges dedicated to promoting academic freedom and to defending the human rights of scholars worldwide. For more information, please contact Scholars at Risk at 212-998-2179 or scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu.


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