A life in history


Michel Devoret and Robert Schoelkopf have been awarded the John Stewart Bell Prize for advances in quantum mechanics. Devoret, the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, and Schoelkopf, the Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, were honored for their “groundbreaking work” in quantum computing.

Joan Steitz has been awarded the Grand Medal of the French Academy of Sciences for her work in understanding RNA. Steitz, a Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is the second woman to receive the medal, which was established in 1997.


Microbiologist Jo Handelsman was nominated by President Obama in July to be associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, she is known for her advocacy for women in science and for her efforts to improve science teaching at Yale. If confirmed by the Senate, Handelsman will take a leave from Yale to assume the post.

Marlene Schwartz ’96PhD, a research scientist in psychology and epidemiology, is the new director of Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Schwartz studies the effect of home, school, and community environments on children’s diets. She succeeds Rudd Center cofounder Kelly Brownell, who became dean of Duke’s public-policy school in July.

Also nominated to a federal post this summer was Linda Spoonster Schwartz ’84MSN, ’98DPH, who awaits Senate confirmation as assistant director of veterans affairs for policy and planning. Schwartz, a disabled former Air Force nurse, has been Connecticut’s commissioner of veterans affairs since 2003. She is also an associate clinical professor at the School of Nursing.

Some of Yale College’s aspiring Woodwards and Bernsteins will have a chance to study with Bob Woodward ’65 himself next spring. The Washington Postreporter and editor will teach an English department seminar called simply “Journalism.”

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