Dr. Harlow Shapley, Paine Professor of Practical Astronomy and director of the Harvard College Observatory, has been awarded the American Society of Arts and Sciences' medal for great scientific achievement, according to an announcement made yesterday by Walter Russell, president of the Society. Dr. William Crocker of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research was awarded the Society's second medal.
These two medals are awarded annually to scientists who have done something of importance to the scientific world, and they have been given in the past to such men as Thomas A. Edison, Professor R. A. Millikan, Professor A. A. Michelson, Professor Gilbert Lewis, and Dr. J. McKeen Cattell. The basis of the awarding of the medals is the report of a jury of distinguished American scientists as to the men most deserving under the purpose of the award.
Professor Shapley was first notified of the honor yesterday afternoon at his office in the Harvard observatory. The formal presentation of the medal will take pace at a banquet to be given in New York next fall.
Jury Praises Shapley
The reasons for the choice as outlined in a report of the jury, of which Professor H. H. Sheldon of New York University was the chairman, was as follows:
"Because he has blazed new trails in Astrophysics. From his early adaptation of the 'period-luminosity relation' to variable stars in globular clusters, came a new and enlarged conception of the universe; from his studies of the Magellanic Clouds, new values of stellar brilliancy; from the Spiral Nebulae, new vistas of galaxies and super-galaxies, and interesting theories of cosmogony.
"Because of his skill in research combined with a rare ability to plan problems for others.
"Because of his enthusiasm, diversity of knowledge and fertility of thought, which are utilized by various colleges as a stimulation to old and young in diverse branches of knowledge, and are a constant inspiration at Harvard to students of our own and other lands."