Alan Alda and Irina Petrushina were both honored by the New York Academy of Sciences at its 2022 Gala, held November 14 at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City.
Alda was given the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Communicating Science, while Petrushina, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was one of nine honorees in the Physical Sciences and Engineering category of the 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. She received a personalized award medal and an unrestricted personal cash prize of $10,000.
Petrushina was recognized for her “astonishing contributions to the field of modern accelerator physics.” An accelerator is a device that is used to propel charged particles, such as electrons, to extremely high energies, and these devices are critically important to scientists who are looking to answer some of the most fundamental questions in high energy physics. Her work on the new photo-gun design dramatically improved the performance of superconducting radiofrequency accelerators and prompted the accelerator community to re-imagine this evolving technology. Petrushina has also made incredible experimental breakthroughs on another accelerator technology — laser wake field accelerators (LWFAs), designing a diagnostic tool capable of imaging the important properties of plasmas in LWFAs.
“I am truly honored to be named a Blavatnik Regional Award finalist, and I am especially proud to represent the Accelerator Physics community,” Petrushina said. “I hope to inspire future scientists and engineers to explore the exciting world of Accelerator Physics.”
“I am exceptionally excited about this news,” said Chang Kee Jung, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, when the 2021 finalists were announced last year. “Irina is a rising star and role model in this critical field for scientific research and societal applications.”
Alda, the world famous American actor, writer, director and activist, was honored for his work with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. The Alda Center works to advance science through research, education, and training in engaging and effective communication.
Alda accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award via live video.
The gala is underwritten by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Simons Foundation International, Ltd.
The event recognized award winners for 2021 and 2022, as the 2021 ceremony had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.