The Las Cumbres Observatory Education Director, Dr. Edward Gomez, has been awarded the 2020 Lise Meitner Silver Subject medal by the Institute of Physics “for substantial contributions to physics engagement and raising aspirations of children via public lectures, science comic books and the creation of interactive, innovative resources used in classrooms worldwide.”
The IOP Silver Subject medals are awarded annually and recognize and reward distinguished contributions to physics. The Lise Meitner medal is particularly focussed on public engagement with physics.
The award was made to Dr. Gomez because of his professional and personal drive to inspire people with physics and astronomy. This includes leading LCO’s flagship educational program, Global Sky Partners, which has an audience of over 24,000 annually. The Global Sky Partners supports groups from around the world - doing education, outreach, and citizen science projects, with a particular focus on under-represented audiences. Dr. Gomez is a passionate advocate of physics being accessible to all, using the medium of astrophysics to engage and enthuse the next generation in pursuing scientific investigations with research-level data and equipment.
In 2018 Dr. Gomez launched a Kickstarter campaign to send 15,000 copies of the science comic book Ada’s Adventures in Science (which he co-wrote with illustrator Laura Sorvala) to kids all around the world, with a high proportion going to students in the developing world. The comics are open source and have been translated into 5 languages.
In addition to running LCO’s worldwide education program, Dr. Gomez gives freely with his time as a public speaker specialising the Science of Doctor Who and the Science of Time Travel, across the UK and US. He wrote Jack Photon for IOP Physics Storytelling and has since presented it at events in both the UK and the US. You can view Jack Photon being narrated by Dr Gomez himself at Astronomy on Tap Santa Barbara in 2016.
LCO is delighted that the IOP has recognized Dr Gomez’s body of work with this prestigious award.
Please read the announcement from the Institute of Physics, for more information about the award.
Cardiff University also issued a press release about Dr. Gomez.
LCO is grateful to the Simons Foundation for their support of the Global Sky Partners program.