FOR RELEASE: Thursday, February 16, 2006
Professor Emeritus Art Hobson Wins 2006 Robert A. Millikan Award
Ark. - Art Hobson, professor emeritus of
physics, has been named the 2006 winner of the Robert A. Millikan Award, given
by the American Association of Physics Teachers to members who have made
notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.
Hobson will receive a $7,500
award, an inscribed medal, a certificate and travel expenses to the
association's summer meeting July 22-26 at Syracuse
University, where he will present a
In notifying Hobson of the
award, Bernard Khoury, the association's executive officer, wrote "I am sure
that the award reflects the continuous efforts you have expended to expand the
'target' audiences for physics. It is also a recognition that you have
contributed mightily to placing physics into a broader societal agenda."
The award is also in
recognition of Hobson's textbook, "Physics: Concepts &
Connections," published by Prentice Hall and going into its fourth edition
Hobson describes his book as "a
non-technical textbook for non-science college students; it emphasizes modern
topics such as quantum physics and modern cosmology, and science-related social
topics such as global warming and energy resources."
Hobson and others have formed
an unofficial group within the association that encourages physics educators to
include social topics such as global warming and energy resources in their
teaching. He has been the leader of this group for several years.
Hobson has always been a strong
advocate for teaching reforms in the sciences. He believes that in this
scientific age, a scientifically illiterate nation such as the United
States is a prescription for disaster.
"The reason is simple," said
Hobson. "Citizens vote on issues such as nuclear power, energy resources and
pseudoscience issues such as creationism. Thus, the University
of Arkansas and other
research-oriented campuses should place greater emphasis on teaching in
decisions about hiring, tenure and promotions. The faculty should spend more
time and effort on teaching undergraduate students. In the sciences, more
effort needs to be devoted to teaching non-scientists."
Hobson joined the UA faculty in
1964, retiring in 1999 after 35 years of teaching. He says he is working harder
now than he did then.
"It's even more fun now. I'm in
my office six days a week working on my textbook, my column in the Northwest
Arkansas Times and other publications, and working with the association and
other organizations to improve science education and to help resolve
science-related social issues," Hobson said.
The American Association of
Physics Teachers was established in 1930 with the fundamental goal of "ensuring
the dissemination of knowledge of physics, particularly by way of teaching."
The association currently has more than 11,000 members in 30 countries around
The association also publishes
two major peer-reviewed journals, the "American
Journal of Physics" and "The Physics
Teacher." These journals provide a medium for sharing methods and
research about teaching physics at introductory and advanced levels.
To learn more about the
Millikan Prize and recent recipients, go to http://www.aapt.org/Grants/millikan.cfm
To learn more about Hobson's
textbook, visit his Web page at http://physics.uark.edu/hobson/