1. The Foundation
The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation was established in 1983 in Washington, D.C., as part of World Communications Year celebrations at the United Nations, an international event sponsored by the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The Foundation was created to recognize and promote the extraordinary contributions of Arthur C. Clarke to the world, and to promote the use of space and telecommunications technology for the benefit of humankind.
The Foundation is dedicated to enhancing Sir Arthur Clarke’s legacy, and to share that opportunity with like-minded institutions. An excellent example is the vibrant partnership with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the U.S. for the establishment of their international arm—the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.
The Foundation draws its inspiration from an individual whose range of creativity is unimaginably wide. At one extreme is Clarke the physicist who, at age 28, envisioned a future where geosynchronous platforms—extra-terrestrial relays—could be used for global communication. At the other, is Clarke as the most inspiring science fiction writer of his age, and his relentless and profound faith in humanity’s ability to meet, even to elevate, its moral obligations to the planet upon which we live.
To the world, Arthur C. Clarke was a visionary, known not only for his science fiction novels such as Childhood’s End, Rendezvous with Rama, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but also for his scientific publications on space, energy, and the oceans. He is perhaps most famous for envisioning a global network of geosynchronous telecommunications satellite in 1945, as well as conceptualizing the “space elevator”—an elevator from Earth’s surface to orbit, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).
The work of the Foundation is to continue and recognize the seminal works and ideas of one of the leading thinkers and more extensive writers of science fiction and science fact of the 20th century.
The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation regards Sir Arthur’s work as an unparalleled synthesis of science, literature, and social concern. History will list him among the few whose insights ranged most broadly in our comprehension of the universe we live in, the way we live in it, and the responsibility we have to improve our world.
The Foundation exists to advance these insights. As with Sir Arthur’s myriad accomplishments, the routes [the Foundation] employs are separate. Their destinations are the same—
- Stimulate creative use of communications technologies and social resources to improve health, education, and the quality of life for people everywhere, with emphasis on the needs of developing countries.
- Integrate science and technology with literature, film, and other means of outreach to enhance recognition of our increasingly complex, interconnected world.
- Deepen public understanding of science and technology, and their impact on humanity and our world.
To carry out its mission, the Foundation has created and oversees annual awards, educational programs, lectures, fellowships, travel grants, and endowments to commemorate the life and works of the world famous writer and scientist who died in 2008.
2012 Board Members
Hon. Tedson J. Meyers, Chairman
Dr. Joseph N. Pelton, Vice-Chairman
Scott Chase, Secretary
Timothy J. Logue, Treasurer
Dr. Joseph S. Bravman, Director
Dr. Martin Collins, Director
Hon. Diana Lady Dougan, Director
Angie Edwards, Director
Joseph Flaherty, Director
Edward Horowitz, Director
Peter Marshall, Director
Monica Morgan, Executive Director
Darrell Pepper, Director
Alistair Scott, Director
Frederick C. Durant III
Frederick I. Ordway
2. Foundation History
The Foundation was announced through a White House press release at the inaugural celebration of World Communications Year 1983, celebrated on December 16, 1982. Dr. John McLucas, former Secretary of the Air Force and former FAA Administrator, served as the first Chairman of the Foundation; Dr. Joseph N. Pelton, Founder of the Society of Satellite Professionals International and an Officer of the Intelsat Organization, served as the first Vice Chairman; and Fred Durant, Assistant Director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, served as the first Executive Director. Ambassador deAlwis and Counselor Chitty of the Sri Lankan embassy played a key role in the Foundation’s creation.
In September 1983, at the World Communications Year celebrations held at the United Nations, Arthur C. Clarke agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the Clarke Foundation of the United States. He served in this capacity until his death in March 2008.
List below are the Founding Board Members of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation—
John McLucas, Chairman
Former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and Administrator of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
Joseph N. Pelton, Vice Chairman and Managing Director
Founder of the Society of Satellite Professionals International and an Officer of the Intelsat Organization
Fred Durant, Executive Director
Assistant Director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution
Burton I. Edelson, Associate Director
Elizabeth Young, Secretary/Treasurer
Officer of the Comsat General Corporation
Tedson Meyers, Counsel
Partner in Peabody and Meyers
Satellite Communications Consultant and Investor
President, Equatorial Communications
President, Ford Aerospace Corporation
Alfred “Bud” Wheelon
President, Hughes Aircraft Company
Author and Editor
3. Foundation Activities
Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education
The Foundation has been working with the National Center for Earth & Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the United States to establish the Center’s new international initiative—the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education. Launched in April 2012, the Institute delivers education programs world-wide that address our planet, its health, and our ability to venture beyond Earth and understand our place in a greater cosmos. Programs include the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) that currently invites communities in European Space Agency (ESA) member nations, European Union (EU) member nations, Canada, and Japan, to engage their students in designing microgravity experiments to be carried out on the International Space Station (ISS).
Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
In recent years, the Foundation has focused prime attention on the creation of a university-based Arthur C. Clarke Center to study human imagination. The Center will be dedicated to exploring new ways to celebrate the life of Arthur Clarke and his creativity. The Center will focus on educational innovation, creativity, and imagination, accomplished through e.g., academic programs and research, artistic programs, performance spaces, and artistic attractions that might draw on a global audience of visitors focused on both the future and sustainability.
Clarke Institute for Telecommunications and Information (CITI)
In 2001 the Foundation established a subsidiary organization known as the Clarke Institute for Telecommunications and Information (CITI), to establish new international contacts around the world. CITI sought to explore how the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation could cooperate with research organizations, universities, and governmental agencies worldwide so as to use science, technology, and information systems to improve world conditions. In 2004, CITI and its projects were consolidated into the Foundation.
The Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual, a group, or an entity that exemplifies the values and accomplishments of Sir Arthur’s life. The award honors substantial and enduring contributions that relate the sciences and arts in meeting the challenges of contemporary life and the needs of tomorrow.
2011: Freeman Dyson, for groundbreaking work in physics, mathematics, and quantum electrodynamics
2010: Giuliano Berretta, for a lifetime of contribution to the commercial satellite industry
2009: Ray Kurzweil, for lifetime achievement as an inventor and futurist in computer-based technologies
2007/2008: David W. Thompson, for visionary leadership in creative space systems and missions
2006: Walter Cronkite, of CBS, for bringing the wonders of space into our lives
2005: Ben Bova, Noted Science Fiction Writer
2004: Claude Goumy, former Chairman of the Board of Marconi-Matra, founder of EADS
2003: Robert Berry, Chairman of the Board, Space Systems, Loral
2002: Santiago Astrain, first Director General of Intelsat
The Arthur C. Clarke Innovation Award
This award recognizes initiatives or new inventions that have had recent impact on or hold particular promise for satellite communications and society, and stand as distinguished examples of innovative thinking.
2011: Elon Musk, for groundbreaking achievements in the internet, space, and automotive industries
2010: S. Pete Worden, for outstanding space and technology policy leadership
2009: Steven Squyres, for pioneering work in the exploration of the planet Mars
2007/2008: Peter Diamandis, for pioneering work in the promotion of personal spaceflight
2006: Robert T. Bigelow, for pioneering development of versatile space habitats
2005: Dr. Brad Edwards, for creating a company and taking the lead in the design of a space elevator that could move cargo to the Clarke Orbit from the Earth’s Surface
2003: D.K. Sachdev and Joseph Campanella, for designing and implementing the world’s first audio broadcasting satellite
The Foundation sponsors two scholarships for college undergraduates in support of engineering and space-related research in memory of Dr. John McLucas, first Chairman of the Foundation, and Dr. Burton Edelson, a long-serving member of the Board. The Foundation also awards a Prize at Huish College (Taunton, Somerset, United Kingdom), which was attended by Sir Arthur in the 1930s.
Dr. John McLucas Award
Dr. John McLucas was chairman of the Clarke Foundation Board for almost 20 years. He has been recognized by a permanent fund that awards research grants to students who undertake studies on how to increase space safety. Annual awards are to be given through the International Space University (ISU) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) in his honor.
2008: Simon Adebola, Ondrej Doule, and Oriol Gallemi I Rovira, International Space University (ISU)
2007: Joseph Yurko, Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and University of Arizona
2006: Amruta Mehta, International Space University (ISU); Daniella Della-Guistina, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson (USRA); Elaine Chan, Cynthia Chang, Alex Gordon, Eric Vu, and Peter Yang, Rice University (USRA)
2005: Dr. Anis Karim, University of Kerali (ISU); Joe Fronczek, New Mexico State University (USRA)
Dr. Burton Edelson Annual Scholarship
Dr. Burton Edelson was a former Associate Administrator of NASA, and long time Clarke Board member. He was responsible for the Hubble Telescope, and dozens of other space projects. A fellowship in his honor was created by efforts of the Clarke Foundation Board at the George Washington University where he spent the last ten years of his career. The first award under this fellowship was made in the Fall of 2004. The Edelson scholarship is awarded to a meritorious student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University.
2008: Jeremiah Patrick Shugrue, Computer Science
2007: Sam Sternberg, Computer Science
2005: Samuel Evan Goldstein, Computer Science
2004: Samuel Evan Goldstein, Computer Science, and Xu Jinghao, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Prize for Innovation and Imagination
In 2008, the Foundation inaugurated a Prize for Innovation and Imagination at Huish College (Taunton, Somerset, United Kingdom) where Sir Arthur was educated in the 1930s. The award is to recognize a Huish student who is following in the footsteps of Arthur C. Clarke ”by demonstrating outstanding qualities in both the sciences and arts.”
2011: Jonathan Sykes
2009: James Searle
2008: James House
The Annual Arthur C. Clarke Lecture
The Foundation sponsors an annual lecture that explores fundamental concepts and ideas pertaining to satellite communications and other technologies and their profound meaning for contemporary and future society. The lecture also serves as the venue for presentation of the Foundation’s annual awards.
Educational Seminars and Forums Related to Communication Development
• Symposiums featuring Arthur C. Clarke at George Washington University, 1983 and 1995
• A joint program with the Royal Television Society featuring a videoconference lecture to guests at Intelsat Headquarters
• A presentation by Arthur C. Clarke on the future of communications via satellite hook-up to U.S. embassies around the world
• A lecture by Dr. Joseph N. Pelton at the Clarke Institute for Modern Technology in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on the future of space communications
• A training seminar in the design and manufacture of small satellite ground terminals
• A Celebration of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Newseum, 2001
• A Conversation with Arthur C. Clarke, Gene Cernan, Fred Ordway, and Ben Bova at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2002
The Foundation provides travel grants for students to study at U.S. and United Kingdom universities and at the International Space University.
The Foundation has sponsored several publications over the years including Future Vision, Space 30, and a Worldwide Directory of Tele-education Programs. It also lent its support to the worldwide Project SHARE activity to test and demonstrate the use of satellites for health and rural education, as well as the special edition of Ascent to Orbit by Arthur C. Clarke issued in conjunction with Intelsat’s 20th birthday.
The Clarke Foundation has helped with the organization of special exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the Capital Childrens’ Museum, and the Kreeger Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
The Foundation assisted with a major review of human space safety, in cooperation with the Space Shuttle Children’s Fund, and which was issued as a formal report and website in 2005.