Seager awarded the 2021 Magellanic Premium Medal

American Philosophical Society
Monday, January 11, 2021

EAPS congratulates Professor Sara Seager who was recognized by the American Philosophical Society for her paradigm-shifting exoplanet research and leadership in the hunt for life beyond Earth. The Magellanic Premium is the oldest medal recognizing scientific achievements given by a North American institution.


Read the press release at the American Philosophical Society

The selected recipient for the 2021 Magellanic Premium Medal is Sara Seager, Class of 1941 Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at MIT.  Sara Seager is a theoretical astrophysicist and leader in the exciting field of exoplanets, particularly in the quest to discover and analyze habitable planets beyond the solar system.  The engraved medal will be presented at the American Philosophical Society’s November Meeting in 2021.  The citation and engraving on the medal will be posted at that time.

The award was established from a gift of 200 guineas by John Hyacinth de Magellan, of London, in 1786, “for a gold medal to be awarded from time to time under prescribed terms, to the author of the best discovery or most useful invention relating to navigation, astronomy, or natural philosophy (mere natural history only excepted).”  The medal, named the Magellanic Premium, was first awarded in 1790.   It is the oldest medal recognizing scientific achievements given by a North American institution.

The selection committee members were Gordon Baym (chair), Professor Emeritus, Research Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Marvin Cohen, University Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, Senior Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; Jeremiah Ostriker, Professor of Astronomy, Columbia University, Professor Emeritus of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University; and Michael Turner, Director, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago.