I was very much honored by winning, not one, but two, Copper Black awards. I did not nominate myself in this, although that is acceptable; I was nominated by Leo Kellog, a colleague in my local Mensa group, Mensa of Northeastern New York., who prepared — with my assistance — a complete portfolio of accomplishment. I was very much impressed with his enthusiasm and at the same time flattered by his attention. So I went along with it, not giving it much chance of success. I was wrong.
Although I do not wear Mensa on my person around here at the GE Research Center where I work, the Copper Black award has been recognized at GE and even advertised at one point. It has influenced my career elsewhere as well; I have been asked to present keynote talks, for example at the Delta State University Science Colloquium, and have received the Lifetime Achievement Herschel Medal of the American Academy of Thermology, an organization of medical doctors who use infrared imaging in surgery. Here at GE, I have recently discovered that I am considered “a legend” — the local genius — though I assure them that genius surrounds me.
Now as Chairman of the Copper Black Award Committee, I am aware of the difficulty in selecting a winner, but I am also aware of the vast potential in Mensa and hope to see many more nominations of visionary Mensans.
Harry Ringermacher, Ph.D., is a senior research physicist at the GE Research Center in Schenectady, N.Y.
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