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Dennis K. Bird receives Steno medal

For the first time since 2015, the Geological Society of Denmark honours a prominent geologist by awarding the Steno medal to Prof. Dennis K. Bird, Stanford University.

Over the years, Prof. Dennis Bird has contributed significantly to different geological disciplines such as quantitative geochemistry and the understanding of geology on micro scale as well as on a global perspective.

Dennis Bird

Often, these contributions have their background in substantial field work in Greenland, where Danish students and colleagues have worked together on solving some of Earth’s big puzzles. Thereby, Dennis Bird has a very close connection to Danish geology, whilst also being a highly respected academic.

The geochemical development of the Skaergaard intrusion was the offset, not only for a long career and many expeditions in Greenland, but also for a career at Stanford University, where he is now affiliated as a prof. emeritus.

One of his many qualities has been his ability to both bring in Danish and foreign researchers to his work, but also to invite many students and researchers to his lab at Stanford, says Prof. Minik Rosing, who has co-authored several papers with the medal recipient. This has provided an important international aspect to Danish geology and not least brought along a well needed change of the discipline to a more quantitative science.

Some say two papers stand out in Prof. Dennis Bird’s career; the one being The rise of continents – an essay on the geological consequences of photosynthesis (2006) seeking to quantify the importance of photosynthesis in the development of Earth, and the other being No paradox under the faint young Sun (2010) which presents a possible solution to the The Faint Young Sun Paradox, otherwise formulated by Carl Sagan in 1972.

Student-involved cooperation, front running research, and a global touch are just some of the accolades Dennis Bird has been granted with, and in order to recognise the impact of a highly accomplished researcher, the Geological Society of Denmark only finds it appropriate to award Prof. Dennis Bird the Steno medal, says chair of the society, Jakob Walløe Hansen.

The award ceremony will take place at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, at Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 KBH K on September 21st, at 4 pm. The ceremony will be followed by a reception.

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