Princeton’s James Peebles given the ‘Great Immigrants’ award for contributions to physics

Thursday, Jul 8, 2021
by Hezekiel Poluan for the Office of the Dean for Research

Princeton University professor emeritus P. James Peebles has been named a recipient of the 2021 “Great Immigrants” award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Peebles is among 34 naturalized U.S. citizens from over 30 countries of origin chosen for their contributions and actions to American society. Each of this year’s honorees represents service to society, with honorees awarded for helping others, advocating, or being changemakers in their field. 

Born in Canada, Peebles is a winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics. Peebles received the Nobel Prize for theoretical discoveries in the study of the origins of the universe. Peebles has also been called one of the “fathers of modern cosmology." 

In 2005, Peebles received the Crafoord Prize with fellow Princeton astrophysicist James Gunn. In 2004, he received the Shaw Prize for his “groundbreaking contribution to cosmology.”

Peebles is currently the Albert Einstein Professor of Science, Emeritus, and professor of physics, emeritus. He received his B.S. from the University of Manitoba in Canada in 1958 before coming to Princeton, where he received his Ph.D. in physics in 1962. He has authored several books, including, in 2020, “Cosmology’s Century: An Inside History of Our Modern Understanding of the Universe.” 

The Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic organization aiming to “promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie founded the organization with the “Great Immigrants” recognition intended to celebrate the excellence of immigrant work in American society.