Moses’ education outreach wins a Jefferson Award

July 21, 2010

Moses’ education outreach wins a Jefferson Award

LIVERMORE, CA -- Edward Moses, the principal associate director of the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a regional winner of a Jefferson Award for his volunteer work in the community.

Moses was selected for his education outreach. Moses routinely volunteers his time to engage and lecture students and the general public on physics, lasers and photon science as well as the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s largest laser.

Considered a “Nobel Prize” for public service, the Jefferson Awards were co-founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to honor volunteerism and community outreach throughout the United States. The awards, named for Thomas Jefferson, are presented on two levels: national and regional.

“This is quite an honor and totally unexpected,” said Moses, who will receive a special gold medallion during a reception for all Bay Area recipients in December. Each year 50 recipients are honored; five of those recipients will be selected in December for consideration for national honors.

Over the years, Moses has become a fixture of the Laboratory’s popular Science on Saturday lecture series, which offers presentations on emerging science and technology to middle and high school age students. Moses’ lectures, which are filled to capacity, are lively sessions in which he invites students on stage to participate in a variety of experiments to drive home the understanding of physical phenomena.

He uses these experiments to provide greater insight into the National Ignition Facility, which will be used to achieve fusion ignition for the first time in a laboratory setting. Fusion is the same force that powers the sun and the stars and holds promise as an unlimited source of clean energy.

Yet Moses education outreach stretches well beyond the Science on Saturday series. He also spends time speaking to many other types of public audiences and has developed many educational and interactive tools to help people understand how science can be used to address the myriad challenges society faces.

“I just want to impassion people to engage in our collective future," Moses said. “I think it’s a responsibility we have to explain the challenges that our civilization faces, possible solutions that we have, and how people can participate in those solutions.”

Moses has 20 years of experience developing Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration laser systems and 30 years of experience developing and managing complex laser systems and high-technology projects.

Moses joined Lawrence Livermore in 1980, and was named associate director for the National Ignition Facility program in 2005 and principal associate director for the NIF & Photon Science Directorate in 2007. Moses received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Cornell University in New York.

Jefferson Award recipients are selected by 150 media partners in more than 90 communities across the country. In the Bay Area, KPIX (Channel 5), a CBS affiliate, oversees the nomination of recipients. A local panel of judges selects the winners; those winners are then selected for consideration for the national honor.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.