Prof. Ayşe Erzan Awarded Human Rights Prize by American Physical Society

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The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded 2020 Andrei Sakharov Prize to Prof. Ayşe Erzan “for her lifelong commitment to human rights.”

Prof. Ayşe Erzan has been awarded the 2020 Andrei Sakharov Prize, which is awarded every second year by the American Physical Society (APS). Erzan is a professor of physics who has retired from the Department of Physics Engineering of İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ).

The prize has been awarded to Erzan "for her lifelong commitment to human rights, especially for her steadfast defense of the rights of citizens to criticize those in power, even at great personal cost."

Speaking to Medyascope news website, Prof. Ayşe Erzan said, "I have been engaged in human rights, especially the oppression faced by scientists and intellectuals, for very long years now. I don't think it is a prize awarded to me. I think it is a prize awarded to the struggle of Academics for Peace. It is a prize awarded in memory of Andrei, but to the Academics for Peace."

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Named after Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist, the 2020 Andrei Sakharov Prize has also been awarded to Xiaoxing Xi from the Temple University.

The APS is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the US and throughout the world.

The full list of 2020 APS Prizes and Awards

About Andrei Sakharov

Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident, Nobel laureate, and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights.

He advocated reforms in the USSR and good relations with non-Soviet countries. Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. Sakharov was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union to collect the prize. His wife Yelena Bonner read his speech at the ceremony in Oslo, Norway. In his Nobel lecture, titled "Peace, Progress, Human Rights", Sakharov called for an end to the arms race, greater respect for the environment, international cooperation, and universal respect for human rights.

* Source: Wikipedia

About Ayşe Erzan

A professor of physics retired from the Department of Physics Engineering of İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ).

She completed her BA studies in Physics at the Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, US in 1970 and did her PhD at SUNY at Stonybrook in New York in 1976. Until 1981, he worked at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara and İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ). After working as a researcher and lecturer in physics at several universities in Europe, she returned to the Department of Physics of İTÜ in 1990.

Her main research interests are non-equilibrium phase transitions and critical phenomena, disordered systems, self-organization in complex nonlinear systems, with application to earthquakes, evolution, the physics of polymers and proteins; network theory, with application to transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulatory networks; field theoretic renormalization group on non-metric spaces.

She is a laureate of the L'Oreal-UNESCO "Women in Science" Prize - Europe, 2003 and a Rammal Medalist, 2010. She also received the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) Science Prize in 1997.

She is currently a member of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and Academia Europaea. She is also the Founding member of Bilim Akademisi (Science Academy - İstanbul).

Click here for the full Curriculum Vitae of Ayşe Erzan