Astrophysicist David Stevenson Elected Cornell Professor-At-Large
New Zealand-born planetary scientist David Stevenson is one of five newly elected professors-at-large in the humanities, social and physical sciences who will visit Cornell University in Ithaca, New York over the next six years.
The other professors are jazz trumpeter and educator Wynton Marsalis, anthropologist Bruno Latour, political scholar Theda Skocpol and artist Xu Bing.
At any one time, twenty outstanding intellectuals from across the globe hold the title of Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large and are considered full members of the Cornell faculty.
According to the Cornell Chronicle: “Stevenson is a highly decorated astrophysicist whose creative studies of planetary chemistry and electromagnetism have opened new fields of research. He serves as lead investigator on NASA’s Juno mission to explore the interior of Jupiter.
“He has conducted pioneering research in Earth science, planetary science (including the origin of the moon) and astrophysics. A curiosity-driven approach to problem solving has led him to such questions as whether free-floating planets might be habitable, or how to directly sample the Earth’s core. Stevenson studied with famed astrophysicist Edwin Salpeter at Cornell.
“He is the Marvin L. Goldberger Professor of Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology and a recipient of CalTech’s highest honor for teaching. Stevenson is a fellow of the Royal Society and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.”
David Stevenson received his B.S and M.S in theoretical physics from Victoria University in Wellington, while a Fulbright Scholar. Stevenson obtained his PhD from Cornell University, also in theoretical physics, with his thesis on the interior structure of Jupiter.
Stevenson’s primary research interests are internal structure and evolution of both major and terrestrial planets; application of fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics to planetary interiors; and the origin of the solar system. He has authored over 100 papers on these subjects.
Original article by Daniel Aloi, Cornell Chronicle, April 8, 2015.