In a White House ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, astronomer Sandra Faber of the University of California at Santa Cruz will accept the National Medal of Science from President Obama.
There will be a live webcast of the event you can find here.
Faber is one of a dozen researchers selected by President Obama to receive the prestigious award, according to the UCSC News Service. A release from the White House mentions Obama also named 11 recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The two awards are considered the highest honors bestowed by the United States government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors.
The UCSC online publication Newscenter says Faber is "an award-winning observational astronomer with research interests in cosmology and galaxy formation, (and) has made important contributions to scientific progress in understanding the history and structure of the universe.
She has coauthored nearly 250 scientific papers, and her work has been cited over 37,000 times."
Once back from Washington, D.C., Faber will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on "How Galaxies were Cooked from the Primordial Soup" in the in the Smithwick Theater of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills on Wednesday, Feb. 6th, 2013, at 7 p.m.
According to Andrew Fraknoi, Chair of the Astronomy Program at Foothill, "one of the great mysteries of the night sky is why it's mostly dark, only punctuated by pinpoints of light in the form of stars and galaxies. The lumpiness of today's universe is a fundamental characteristic that took billions of years to grow. Dr. Faber will review the prevailing "Cold Dark Matter" theory for galaxy formation and compare its predictions to present-day observations."
You can call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions.