Obituaries – Vol 33, No 1

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Sergei Kapitza, 1928 – 2012

In early 2012, Sergei Kapitza won the first gold medal awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences for his “outstanding achievements in the dissemination of scientific knowledge.” This was appropriate, because Kapitza was one of the few people–one of the important few–who could be described as a “science popularizer.” Many people are science teachers or science writers, but only few warrant this designation. To give some context to this characterization, other notable individuals deemed science popularizers are Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Kapitza earned his place among this group by hosting the Russian television show, Evident, but Incredible, as well as editing the Russian counterpart of Scientific American—not to mention his extensive work in the hard sciences, specifically in applied electrodynamics and accelerator physics.

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