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05-17-1998

Renowned Physicist Freeman Dyson Awarded Clarkson University Honorary Degree

[A photo of Freeman Dyson is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/fdyson.jpg A photo of Freeman Dyson and his daughter Esther Dyson receiving their honorary degrees is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/dysons.jpg]

Potsdam, N.Y. – Freeman Dyson, renowned physicist and educator, today (May 17) received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 105th Commencement in Potsdam, New York.fdyson

The degree was conferred for "his profound scientific insights, for championing the ethical and humane application of technology, and for helping to demystify science while broadening its beneficial impacts in the service of humankind."

Born in England, Dyson attended Winchester College and University of Cambridge receiving a B.A. in mathematics from University of Cambridge in 1945. He was a professor of physics at Cornell University from 1951 through 1953. He spent the last 45 years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

His popular books include Disturbing the Universe, in which Dyson shares his understandings of the laws of the universe, Infinite in All Directions, a culmination of Dyson's lectures on the diversity of the natural world and human reactions, and Imagined Worlds, a critical optimistic overview of how science and technology tools can sustain civilization deep into the future.

Fellow scientists regard Dyson as an inventive and proactive thinker with a diversity of interests and ideas. He once dreamed of designing nuclear-powered spaceships to visit Jupiter and has been a critic of projects like the supercollider which he feels were designed to look for what the scientists expect to find rather than less expensive alternatives obtaining unexpected results. Dyson's message is that mankind must develop joyful and useful technologies that benefit all of humanity.

His latest thoughts on how humankind can reconcile technology and social justice convey that technology should be clever, useful, cheap and available to all. Its dangers should be safeguarded against, while its power to save lives should be harnessed. Above all, technology should help spread knowledge, well-being and wealth around the world.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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