Burton Richter, 2010


For pioneering the development and application of electron-positron colliders, visionary leadership as Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and important contributions in science and energy policy nationally and internationally.


Dr. Richter earned a B.S. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1956, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Richter has a body of work that is wide-ranging and enduring, including the development and exploitation of accelerator technologies that have resulted in several Nobel Prize winning discoveries, and his own Nobel Prize winning discovery in experimental particle physics in 1976. Dr. Richter also provided visionary leadership at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), which is now called the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, from 1984 to 1999, where he helped lead advances in accelerator science and technology that not only yielded new discoveries in particle physics but also laid the foundation for major new strides in photon science.

Since stepping down as SLAC lab director in 1999, Dr. Richter turned his focus to scientific leadership and issues of public policy in science and energy. He chairs the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee within DOE, where he was a principal advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy on the development of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). He served for six years on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), and presently serves on the newly established Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC). He has also served on the JASON advisory group, an independent group of scientists that advise the United States government on matters of science and technology. He has played a leadership role for many of the most distinguished scientific professional societies and advisory boards, including the American Physical Society, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and Board of Physics and Astronomy.

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