The 2005 Alfred Wegener Medal & Honorary Membership is awarded to Georgy Golitsyn in recognition of his leadership in atmospheric sciences over several decades and of his distinguished contributions to geophysical fluid dynamics, especially his research on the dynamics of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets.
With a distinguished record of wide-ranging contributions to research on dynamical processes in atmospheres and oceans to his credit, Golitsyn continues to play a leading role in Russian Science as Director of the Obukhov Institute for Atmospheric Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in Moscow. Russian science fell on hard times starting over a decade ago and recovery will continue to depend on the efforts of scientists like Golitsyn who were prepared to stay at their posts and provide the necessary leadership. Following a major Russian tradition pioneered by Kolmogorov, Obukhov and others, Golitsyn applied similarity theory to planetary atmospheres with notable success. His work on the boundary layers of Mars and Venus and on the super-rotation of Venus was confirmed by the findings of various space missions. He has contributed to the theory of convection in rotating fluids, a subject upon which he and his colleague Boubnov have written an important monograph. In more recent work he showed how meteorologists could exploit the Global Positioning System of Earth-orbiting artificial satellites for studying the distribution of water vapour in the atmosphere. He also played a leading role in the debate about nuclear winter, he continues to serve the international community in various capacities, and he and his colleagues regularly presented their research findings at annual EGS meetings. A scientist of the highest calibre whose work has been recognised in his own country by the award of the prestigious Demidoff Prize and by his election to full membership of the RAS.