Article written by: Dr. Peter Webster (AGU, USA)
The Institute of Physics is one of the premier scientific organizations in the United Kingdom. It fosters excellence in physics through a variety of efforts in the same manner as the American Geophysics Union and the American Meteorological society fosters geophysics, meteorology and oceanography. Foremost in the IOP activities is the rewarding of excellence in physics. One such award, created in 1987, is the Dirac Award named after the great theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. The first awardee was Stephen Hawking in 1987 followed by, through the years, Roger Penrose, Peter Ware Higgs, Nobel Laureate and Michael Green, one of the pioneers of string theory.
Tim Palmer’s award honors a different physics emphasis notable his achievements in geophysics especially related to his work in developing ensemble prediction methodology used in a wide range of applications in predictability and the quantification of uncertainty. Thus, Tim’s award is remarkable in a number of ways. First it honors his excellent work in numerical prediction and the theory of predictability but it honors, for the first time, the general field of geophysics by the Institute of Physics. Tim Palmer is also a recipient of the Rossby and Charney awards of the American Meteorological Society, the Adrian Gill award from the Royal Meteorological Society and a Bjerknes lecturer of the AGU. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society, the AMS and the AGU.