Carnegie's Richard Carlson elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 1st, 2012
Geochemist Richard Carlson of Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates of one the most prestigious honorary societies in the country. The academy is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scientific and engineering scholars. U.S. leaders often turn to academy members for advice on technology and science issues.

Carlson studies the chemical and physical processes that formed the terrestrial planets. Using the known decay rates of various radioactive isotopes, he investigates the chronology of early heat-intensive processes on small planetary objects and studies the chemical and physical aspects of old and young crust-forming processes on Earth.

"Rick is very deserving of this recognition," remarked Carnegie president Richard Meserve. "He is a highly accomplished scientist and we are proud that he is part of Carnegie."

"Rick Carlson is one of the most innovative leaders in geochemistry today," added Linda Elkins-Tanton, director of Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. "He is internationally known for his broad thinking, his expertise in the field and in the lab, and also for his service to the community."

Carlson received a B.A. in chemistry and Earth science from the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) in 1976 and a Ph.D. in Earth science, from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD in 1980. He has been a staff member at Carnegie since 1981. Carlson received the 2008 Norman L. Bowen Award from the American Geophysical Union. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the Geochemical Society. He serves on many science review panels for the National Science Foundation, NASA and others, and has supervised many students and postdoctoral fellows.

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