"I greatly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the Aspen conference that permitted meaningful personal interactions with numerous astronomers at similar phases of our careers. These informal discussions (some on science, some on the academic culture, and others entirely unrelated to work) were invigorating and exciting. Moreover, the opportunity to discuss -- over an extended period of time! -- ideas with scientists studying similar projects was invaluable for renewing my excitement for my chosen field...Quite literally buried in work these past few months, I desperately needed the peace and quiet provided by the Aspen Center for Physics to just think and reflect. This opportunity has been very powerful to remind me what I value about my field -- discussion, interactions, and ideas! -- and how rewarding it is to be surrounded by smart and stimulating individuals! Moving forward in my career, I will remember how important it is to step back and *just* think deeply about the science, which in turn de-clutters my mind and brings me back to my natural curious and excited state -- which is the state under which all the creativity happens!" -physicist

Founders and Pillars


Three men are credited with launching physics in Aspen: George Stranahan, Michael Cohen and Bob Craig. George also served at the first president of the organization. You can read their memories of the early years by clicking their links on the left.

Keystones: Administrative Vice Presidents

The Administrative Vice President manages the day–to–day operations of the Center. The Board makes policy decisions which the Administrative Vice President enacts. The list of duties includes: staffing, buildings and grounds maintenance, housing arrangments for summer condominiums and winter hotel rooms, managing the admissions process, assisting and advising the organizers of summer workshops and winter conferences, publicizing and coordinating outreach activities, plus dealing with anything that comes up when tending to 86 physicists in residence at one time, many with families. There are bike accidents, clogged toilets and music tickets to sort out. The list is endless but the administrative vice presidents have been tireless.

Pillars: Past and Present Members and Friends Who Have Helped Build the Center's Foundation

In 2006, then President Andrei Ruckenstein organized what he called, "A weekend (August 5-6) focused on the history of the Center and on those who had shaped that history. The event, which I referred to as “Founders and Pillars,” brought together the founders – Michael Cohen, Robert Craig and George Stranahan – and many of the early participants and contributors to the Center." The tireless volunteer efforts of these men and women helped give the Aspen Center for Physics its position in the scientific community. A few of this cadre of volunteers have sent us remembrances. We honor their contributions with their comments on the lower "Pillars" link to the left.