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Queen Mary researcher awarded medal for outstanding contributions to space science

Dr Chris Chen from Queen Mary University of London has won American Geophysical Union’s James B. Macelwane Medal for his significant contributions to the geophysical sciences as an early career scientist.

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Dr Chris Chen
Dr Chris Chen

American Geophysical Union (AGU) is a nonprofit organization that supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences, which annually recognises a select number of individuals for its highest honours.

Given annually to three to five early career scientists, the Macelwane Medals recognise significant contributions to Earth and space science. Nominees are selected for the medal based on their depth and breadth of research, impact, creativity as well as service, outreach, and diversity.

As an AGU Honors and Recognition 2021 recipient, Dr Chen is recognised by the global Earth and space sciences community for excellence in scientific research, education, communication, and outreach.

Commenting on the award, Dr Chen, Lecturer in Space Plasma Physics at Queen Mary, said: “It's a surprise and honour to be chosen to receive the AGU Macelwane medal. My research and broader career have been carried out with many collaborators and mentors so I would like to acknowledge the contribution that they have all made to this achievement. I will endeavour to use this opportunity to continue advancing and promoting the field of space science and science in general for the benefit of society.”

Dr Chen is a Lecturer and STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow in the Astronomy Unit of the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary. His research interests are in space plasma physics and in particular, the solar wind and the variety of processes that occur within it. He is involved in several high-profile space missions including the Parker Solar Probe, Interstellar Probe and Magnetospheric Multiscale.

The Macelwane Medal was named in honour of former AGU president James B. Macelwane (1953-1956) who was renowned for his contributions to geophysics. Macelwane was also deeply interested in teaching and encouraging scientists, founding the Department of Geophysics at St. Louis University and serving as Dean of the Graduate School, along with various other roles, all while always committing to teach at least one course.

Dr Chen joins other scientists, leaders, educators, journalists, and communicators from around the world who have made outstanding achievements and contributions by pushing forward the frontiers of science.

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during the #AGU21 Fall Meeting, 13-17 December 2021 in New Orleans, LA and online everywhere. This celebration is a chance for AGU’s community to recognize the outstanding work of our colleagues and be inspired by their accomplishments and stories. 

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