Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists
Woman and Man of the Year 2017
The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) is proud to announce the selection of its Woman of the Year and Man of the Year for 2017: A researcher in Norway who studies the botanical history of the Vikings, and an Experimental Physicist at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio who studies cosmic rays.
Dr. Anneleen Kool
Woman of the Year 2017
HER WORK: "I work on Viking botany, and I am trying to answer questions on which plants the Vikings used, how they used them and how they moved them around in the Viking territory. I am the curator of the Viking Garden at the Botanical Garden in Oslo and I try to involve the general public in my research and in obtaining plant material for the Viking Garden."
HAIR: She has magnificent, luxuriant flowing hair.
HER NOMINATOR SAYS: "It has been hypothesized that her long, luxuriant hair is a form of ornamental compensation, trying to make up for the small, scruffy and generally unimpressive group of plants she studies (see Kool et al 2012). However, as she moves on to work with bigger and more beautiful plants the hair remains. Some day we hope to discover its true meaning. Until then we can only gaze in wonder, as (in this photo) we watch the lab coat clad Dr. Kool ride off into the sunset on a camel, luxuriant hair trailing behind her. It doesn't get cooler than that."
REACTION TO THIS AWARD: "I am very honoured to be LFHCfS woman of the year!"
the sunset on a camel, luxuriant hair trailing behind her. It doesn't get cooler than that."
- Allison Perrigo
(in Bork Vikingehavn), which was itself modelled on a small Viking figurine of a Valkyrie
unearthed in Denmark, in 2012.
Prof. Corbin Covault
Man of the Year 2017
HIS WORK: Prof. Covault is an Experimentlal Physicist and Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He studies the highest energy cosmic rays arriving to earth from outer space. He also teaches several courses, including 1-D Kinematics
CURRENT RESEARCH: "My students work with the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory. Auger is an international collaboration that has built the world's largest cosmic ray detector, located at Malargue, Argentina. Auger is huge. We cover 3000 square kilometers of area using an array of 1600 water-tank Cherenkov cosmic ray detectors. Our scientific goal is to study the nature and the origin cosmic rays that represent absolutely the most energetic particles in the universe. Our group at Case Western Reserve University specializes in instrumentation for very accurate (few nanosecond) timing using GPS receivers (which are required to reconstruct the arrival directions of incoming cosmic rays) and the wide-area wireless communications system that Auger uses to control and collect data from each of the 1600 cosmic ray detectors deployed in the field.Two other new projects I am working on: (1) In collaboration with academic and industrial partners, we are looking at new materials for spectral x-ray detection that should have significant new capabilities for medical imaging, and (2) at CWRU we have designed a new high-sensitivity telescope system for to search for potential very-fast (nanosecond) optical pulses that might be used for interstellar communications by a hypothetical advanced alien civilization. Our approach to ‘Optical SETI’ includes a set of four independent telescopes that can ‘self-verify’ the reality of any putative signal. We are currently pursuing funding for both of these projects."
HOBBIES: Cooking, and looking for old Science Fiction paperbacks.
HAIR: He has magnificent, luxuriant flowing hair.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM LONG HAIR: "I have learned the hard way that it's a bad idea to try to light a candle inside a halloween pumpkin without tieing up your hair back first. ."
THE WAY FORWARD: "Science is about simplifying very messy and ill-structured problems into clean and well-structured models of those problems, then solving those models, using those solutions to make predictions, and then finally going out and making careful measurements to test the validity and usefulness of it all. This process brings us ever closer to an increasingly accurate description of physical objective reality. Like nothing else, science allows us to understand our world as it really is."
At his chaulkboard, by a Case Western Reserve sign, and around campus
(click on any photo to see it at full size.)
This one, below, is called "Professor Covault Risks His Face"