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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 7, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 33
In Brief


Geophysicist Peter Olson elected to National Academy of Sciences

A Johns Hopkins geophysicist was among 72 U.S. scientists elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences last week at the organization's 144th annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C.

Peter Olson, a professor in the Krieger School's Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, joins 17 other Johns Hopkins faculty members currently in the academy, an honorary society that advises the government on scientific matters.

Olson's research focuses on understanding the dynamics of the Earth's interior, including both the mantle and the core. He is especially interested in how these two major parts of the Earth interact to produce plate tectonics, deep mantle plumes and the geomagnetic field. He combines theory, numerical models and laboratory fluid dynamics models, and uses these to interpret global geophysical data pertaining to the deep interior.

Olson currently is collaborating with colleagues around the world and graduate students at Johns Hopkins to study the dynamics of the Earth's core, particularly the magnetohydrodynamic processes by which the geomagnetic field is generated in the fluid outer core, and why and how it reverses its polarity. He also is investigating magnetic dynamos in other planets.

Olson, who has been at Hopkins since 1977, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.


Michael Williams is fellow of Academy of Arts and Sciences

Michael Williams, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor and chair of the Philosophy Department in the Krieger School, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Williams focuses on epistemology — the theory of knowledge — and on philosophy of language and the history of modern philosophy. He is currently at work on his fourth book, "Curious Researches: Reflections on Skepticism Ancient and Modern." He joined Johns Hopkins in 2000 from Northwestern and previously taught at Yale and the University of Maryland. He becomes one of 39 Johns Hopkins fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Middle school students visit APL to learn about exploring Pluto

More than 100 Maryland middle school students got a close-up look at NASA's first voyage to Pluto on Friday, when they visited APL for Space Academy: Mission to Pluto. The Space Academy series, sponsored by APL, Comcast and the Science Channel, takes students behind the scenes of actual space missions and introduces them to the people who conduct some of NASA's most exciting projects.

Mission to Pluto focused on New Horizons, the robotic APL-built and -operated spacecraft en route to Pluto and the distant, unexplored Kuiper Belt region on the planetary frontier. New Horizons recently zipped past Jupiter at 50,000 miles per hour, gathering new data on the giant planet while gaining speed toward its 2015 flyby of Pluto and its moons.


Diversity Leadership Council is seeking membership nominations

The Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity Leadership Council, established by President William R. Brody in May 1997, is in the process of identifying new faculty, staff and students to serve on the council. The council serves as advisory to the president and senior leadership on diversity issues in both the university and health system.

The DLC meets once a month. Membership, which is for one or two years with a time commitment of four to six hours per month, requires a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the ability to communicate across and about differences.

Nominations, including a short biography and brief description of the candidate's reason for wishing to serve on the council, may be submitted by e-mail to or by mail to DLC Nomination, 130 Garland Hall, Homewood campus (or 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218). Self-nominations are encouraged from all levels of the university, including APL, and the health system. Nominations must be received by Friday, May 25. More information on the DLC is available at


Radiology wins top 'Medical Imaging Magazine' awards

The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins and one of its faculty, Elliot Fishman, were ranked the nation's best by 600 readers of Medical Imaging Magazine in its second annual survey of the specialty field.

Departmental choices were based on reputation and information related to equipment, patient care and outcomes, clinical research and staff. Individual radiologists were judged by their current research, patient care and outcomes, and industry interaction.

Fishman, professor of radiology and oncology and director of diagnostic imaging and body CT, pioneered the development of 3-D medical imaging and continued his work in this field with Pixar, a spinoff of LucasFilms. His Web site,, has won numerous awards and is one of the largest medical Web sites in the world, used by more than 50,000 medical professionals each month.

David Bluemke, professor of radiology and medicine and clinical director of MRI, was voted seventh best radiologist in the nation. Other Hopkins radiologists recognized in the rankings by specialization were as follows: nuclear physician/nuclear medicine researcher: Richard Wahl and Dean Wong, Nos. 1 and 2, respectively; women's imaging: Nagi Khouri and Katarzyna Macura, tied at No. 5; imaging informaticist and PACS/RIS administrator: James Philbin, No. 3; and technologist: M. Robert De Jong Jr., No. 4.


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