Biographies: Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin

Gino Segrè

Gino Segrè was born in Florence, Italy and grew up in New York and Italy. He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B.) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.). He is a professor, now emeritus, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a visiting professor at M.I.T, Oxford University, University of California and New York University/Abu Dhabi.  He also had been a visiting Fellow at CERN (Centre Europeen Recherches Nucleaires).

Segrè has received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation, the Liguria Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

He is the author of over 100 papers in his field, several popular articles and four books for the general public: A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals About the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet and Universe (2002); Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics (2007); Ordinary Geniuses: Max Delbruck, George Gamow and the Origins of Genomics and Big-Bang Cosmology (2011); and The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age (2016), co-authored with Bettina Hoerlin.  Segrè’s books have been translated into numerous languages. In 2008 Faust in Copenhagen was a finalist in the Los Angeles Times Book Fair and won the American Institute of Physics Award for Best Science Writing.

Bettina Hoerlin

Bettina Hoerlin taught courses in health care disparities at the University of Pennsylvania for 16 years and was a visiting lecturer at Haverford College, Oxford University and New York University/Abu Dhabi.  She also served as Deputy and then Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, was director of various health related organizations, vice president for health affairs at the University of Pennsylvania and a consultant to several foundations. She graduated from the University of Colorado and received a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Hoerlin is the author of Steps of Courage: My Parents’ Journey from Nazi Germany to America (2011).  The book was published in Germany under the title of COURAGE.

Hoerlin co-authored with her husband, Gino Segrè, The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age. She grew up in the Atomic City of Los Alamos and her parents, like her husband’s, fled anti-Semitism in Europe at the same time that Fermi did.  Hoerlin and Segrè’s exhaustive research on The Pope of Physics took them to Rome, Pisa, the University of Chicago and Los Alamos, as well as to Trinity, the New Mexico site of the first nuclear explosion.  Their book was an Editor’s Choice of The New York Time Book Review and chosen as one of the top ten best physics books of 2016 by Physics World.