Cornell scientists are honored for their accomplishments

Two Cornell University scientists have been honored for their work: Riccardo Giovanelli, professor of astronomy, in astronomy and Watt W. Webb, professor of applied and engineering physics, in microscopy.

Riccardo Giovanelli, professor of astronomy, will receive one of the highest honors that Italy, his country of origin, bestows upon scientists. Giovanelli will receive the Cavaliere nell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana "for having brought distinction, with your eminent studies, to the presence of Italy in the Astronomical Sciences and contributing, through your prestigious achievements, to confirm the value of our scientists," according to a letter from the Italian Consul in New York City to Giovanelli. He received the honor Feb. 28 in New York City. Watt W. Webb, professor of applied and engineering physics, has been selected to receive the 1997 Ernst Abbe Lecture Award, a joint award of the Royal Microscopical Society and Carl Zeiss Inc. He received the award during ceremonies March 4 at the Biophysical Society meeting in New Orleans. He also will present his work in a lecture at the New York Academy of Sciences at a later date. Webb received the award "in recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to quantitative microscopy and his significant discoveries in fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy."

At Cornell since 1991, Giovanelli formerly was head of the Radio Astronomy Group at Arecibo Observatory. A member of the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he won the H. Draper Medal and Prize in Astronomical Physics in 1989 from the National Academy of Sciences. He received his doctorate in astronomy from Indiana University in 1976.

A radio astronomer, Giovanelli studies areas of observational cosmology and the structure, evolution and environments of galaxies. He has studied the large-scale structure of the universe and is measuring galaxy distances.

Webb attributes many of these contributions "to innovative efforts of the many great students, postdocs and collaborators with whom I have had the privilege of working over the years."

Webb has been at Cornell since 1961. He directs the National Institutes of Health-National Science Foundation Developmental Resource for Biophysical Imaging and Opto-electronics. He is affiliated with the university's Biotechnology Program, the Materials Science Center, the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, the Cornell National Supercomputer Facility and the Theory Center. Webb is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a founding fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He won the APS Biological Physics Prize in 1990.

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