Medal and Honor

Was there something in the air, the water? Academy Senior Fellow Robert Peck wondered recently. Clearly there was no double whammy; it was all good.

Twice in one week this fall, the historian, author, and traveler received two surprise honors that left him “flabbergasted.”

    Senior Fellow Robert Peck at the Great Wall of China. He recently was honored with the Explorers Club medal for integrity and courage.

Okay, Peck has received plenty of platitudes over his four decades at the Academy. But these latest honors were “totally unexpected.”

— The Philadelphia and St. Louis chapters of the Explorers Club presented him with a medal “for integrity and courage.” He had just finished giving a talk to the Washington chapter of the club that had gathered in Philadelphia for a dinner meeting. The dessert dishes were being cleared.

— The Cleveland Museum of Natural History sent him a note that he was to receive the museum’s highest honor, the David S. Ingalls, Jr Award for Excellence. This award is given to an individual who is internationally recognized for excellence in research, education, and/or conservation in a field of natural science. Past winners include: Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Tory Peterson, Edward O. Wilson, Roger Conant, Jane Goodall, Tim White, and Peter Raven.

“This seems to be a time for unexpected, but happy, surprises,” Peck remarked.

May we all be so lucky. Congratulations Bob and the Academy of Natural Sciences.


Post by Carolyn Belardo

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