At the General Meeting on 19 May Professor Simon K. Donaldson at the Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, UK, and Paola Eerola, Professor of experimental elementary particle physics at the University of Helsinki, Finland, were elected as foreign members of the Academy.
Class for mathematics
Simon K. Donaldson is the Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, UK. The work that first made him famous concerned the use of instantons to construct invariants for differentiable structures on four-manifolds. Since then Donaldson has been one of the most respected mathematicians in the world. Almost all of his work has been extremely influential and has opened up new areas with intense research activity. Even though his articles are complicated, the difficulties mostly lie in the groundbreaking new ideas; the presentation is always clear and elegant.
He has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes, including the Fields medal, the Shaw Prize and the Crafoord Prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1994).
Class for physics
Paola Eerola is Professor of experimental elementary particle physics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Most of the 90s Eerola worked at CERN in Switzerland. Both at CERN and later at Lund University, she worked mainly on the planning and construction of the ALTAS-experiment, where they use an enormous detector to study what happens when protons collides in the new gigantic particle accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN. At LHC the protons collide at higher energies than ever before, which makes it possible to explore new phenomenon and discover short-lived particles that may have played a decisive part in the birth of the universe. and splinter in to the smallest known components of matter.
Since 2008 she has been focusing on CMS (Compact Luon Solenoid), another detector at LHC. CMS is also used for studying colliding particles, but uses other methods of detection. Eerola is engaged in promoting science in society, e.g. through exchange programmes for schools and universities and cooperation within the Nordic countries.