Science Briefs
Published - 04/26/13 - 11:16 AM | 3060 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Edward A. Frieman, Ph.D.
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Salk gets gift of history

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the first polio vaccine, the Salk Institute was honored with a generous gift from Michael Crick, the son of the late Nobel laureate and Salk faculty member, Francis Crick. Michael Crick will donate to the institute half of the proceeds from the sale of a 1953 letter in which Francis Crick described to his young son his recent discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA. The letter sold April 10 at Christie’s auction house to an anonymous bidder for a record price of close to $6 million. The previous record holder was an Abraham Lincoln letter that sold for $3.4 million in 2008.

Former director of SIO dies

Edward A. Frieman, Ph.D., former director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a prominent national advisor to the government on issues of vital importance to defense, energy and science policy, died of a respiratory illness at UC San Diego’s Thornton Hospital on April 11. He was 87.

Frieman was appointed eighth director of SIO, vice chancellor of marine sciences and dean of the graduate school of marine sciences in July 1986. He became director emeritus upon his retirement from his administrative post in 1996. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1979-81.

A plasma physicist, Frieman had extensive research interests that extended into other physical science fields, including hydromagnetics, hydrodynamics and astrophysics. He was a professor at Princeton University for more than 25 years, after which he was employed by the federal government, academia and the private sector.

Prior to joining Scripps in 1986, Frieman was executive vice president for Science Applications International Corporation, a high-technology company based in La Jolla, beginning in 1981. While at UCSD, he was also a research professor of physics at the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps and an adjunct professor of physics.

Frieman is survived by his wife, Joy; sons Michael (Judy) of Denver, Josh of Chicago and Jonathan (Moira) of San Rafael; daughters Wendy Frieman (Dave Johnson) of Washington, D.C., and Linda Holiner (Tim) of the Boston area; and six grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Colleagues wishing to express condolences are invited to submit messages for web posting to

Private funeral services will be held by his immediate family. A celebration of his life will be held at Scripps at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to La Jolla Music Society or Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Mail Scripps donations to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, In Honor of Edward A. Frieman, 9500 Gilman Drive, 0210, La Jolla, 92093-0210.  

Ship named for Sally Ride

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the nation’s newest research vessel will be named R/V Sally Ride, in honor of the former UC San Diego faculty member who was the first American female astronaut and the youngest person to fly in space. The ship is owned by the U.S. Navy, will be operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and will have its home port at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility in Point Loma on San Diego Bay.

Venter Institute closer to LEED certification

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has topped out concrete construction for the new 45,000-square-foot J. Craig Venter Institute on the UCSD campus. Designed to be the most environmentally friendly and only net-zero energy biological laboratory in the world, the $39 million facility will support approximately 125 scientists and other staff in their mission to advance genomic research and policy. The concrete work utilizes a record-high 30 percent fly ash, contributing points toward the project team's goal of obtaining LEED platinum certification, while lending to the beauty of the exposed architectural walls and columns that use Type III cement, much like the Salk Institute.
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