2 professors win national medals in history, physics

In recognition of their academic achievements, two Yale professors recently won medals from national associations. Physics professor D. Allan Bromley received the American Physical Society’s Nicholson Medal, while history professor Paul Freedman won the Medieval Academy of America’s Haskins Medal.

The physical society awarded Bromley the Nicholson Medal, given annually to one recipient, for his lifetime achievements as a researcher, professor and government adviser.

Bromley said the medal is gratifying because it came as a result of nominations from his colleagues in the field of physics.

“It’s something special because it’s a medal that’s awarded by my peers, and that always means more than medals that come through other mechanisms,” Bromley said. “For Yale, it’s a small recognition that another one of its faculty members has been doing things that have been visible in the world community.”

Bromley will receive the medal on April 20 at a formal ceremony in Albuquerque, N.M.

Freedman won the Haskins Medal last week for his 1999 book “Images of the Medieval Peasant.” The work also won Otto Grundler Prize from the International Congress of Medieval Studies in May 2001.

Freedman said he is particularly proud of this work because it draws on a number of fields outside history, including literature and art history.

“It means a lot to have the work recognized because my earlier work was much more archival and historical, but this book was a little more risky for me,” Freedman said. “[The medal] is a kind of flattering recognition that I was able to use sources beyond chronicles and archives and say something interesting without it being completely unfounded speculation.”

Freedman is the latest in a series of Yale-affiliated recipients of the Haskins Medal. In previous years, history professor Walter Goffart and English professor Fred Robinson, among others, have received the award.

–Brian Lee

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