Last week, AMS held a ceremony at our 45 Beacon Street headquarters in Boston to celebrate the life and accomplishments of pioneer scientist Joanne Simpson. The AMS Council, AMS staff, and members of Joanne’s family gathered to watch the unveiling of her portrait that hangs in what is now “The Simpson Room.” The first woman to ever receive a Ph.D. in meteorology and first female AMS president, Joanne’s numerous contributions to science and the Society were lauded by current AMS President Louis Uccellini and Past President Peggy Lemone:
One of Joanne’s daughters was in attendance and Joanne’s husband, Robert Simpson, and three other children were able to view the ceremony through video conference. Robert had this to say:
On behalf of the Simpson family at large, I want to express our deep appreciation to the Society for its special recognition of Joanne Simpson with this unique posthumous award. All of us appreciate that you chose this unique way of further honoring Joanne. She served AMS nobly and effectively throughout her career—a career distinguished not only by her seminal contributions to tropical meteorology and the general circulation of the globe, but also her dedication to the role of women in science, showering them with encouragement, assistance in their efforts, and championing their struggle for recognition.
Simpson concluded by noting if Joanne had been given a choice she probably would have treasured this recognition by AMS even more than she did her Carl Gustaf Rossby gold medal award.