Dr. Susan Solomon: Laureate of the Georges Lemaître 2007 Prize

After having won the prestigeous Blue PLanet Prize in 2004, Dr. Susan Solomon was granted the Georges Lemaître Prize 2007 for "her pioneering role in the discovery of the ozone hole and her deep commitment to science in the service of mankind" on November 6th.

Dr. Solomon achieved a doctorate's degree in chemistry from the University of California in Berkeley in 1981. She went on to becoming a senior scientist for the NOAA/ERL, Chemical Sciences Division, in Boulder, Colorado, and co-chair of the IPCC Working Group I on the Physical Basis of Climate Change. She is also is a member of the American Science Academy
and a honorary member of the International Polar Foundation.

Dr. Solomon first became enamored of science when she started watching TV shows such as "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau". But by High School she had switched her allegiance to the atmosphere when she earned third place in a national science contest by measuring the amount of oxygen in various gaseous mixtures.

Her observations modified the course of atmospheric research when she discovered what was causing the ozone layer to deplete over Antarctica into what is now called the "ozone hole". Thanks to her research, it was possible to identify exactly which chemical compounds were destroying the ozone layer and harming people's health worldwide (cancer, cataracts,
weakened immune system).

The Georges Lemaître Foundation was set up in 1995 by the "Association d'Anciens et Amis de l'Université Catholique de Louvain", of which Dr. André Berger, co-founder of the IPF is a member. A 25 000 euros prize is granted at least once every two years to commemorate the achievements of a Belgian scientist having made a significant contribution to increasing and popularizing scientific knowledge in the field of cosmology, astronomy, astrophysics, geophysics, climate and space research. The2003 prize was allocated to Alain Huber, co-founder of the IPF, for having promoted sciences, raised public awareness on the importance of global climate change and for being pro-active amongst the younger generations.