Robert Hazen

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Robert Miller Hazen
Dr. Robert Hazen.jpg
c. 2015
Born (1948-11-01) November 1, 1948 (age 68)
Rockville Centre, NY
Citizenship American
Education B.S. Earth Science, MIT, 1970; S.M. Earth Science, MIT, 1971; Ph.D. Mineralogy and Crystallography, Harvard, 1975
Spouse(s) Margaret Joan Hazen (née Hindle), 1969–
Children Benjamin Hindle Hazen (b. June 18, 1976) and Elizabeth Brooke Hazen (b. September 1, 1978)
Awards Roebling Medal
Scientific career
Fields Mineralogy, Astrobiology
Institutions Carnegie Institution, George Mason University, Deep Carbon Observatory
Thesis Effects of temperature and pressure on the crystal physics of olivine (1975)
Doctoral advisor Charles Burnham
Other academic advisors David Wones
Influences Larry Finger, Dimitri Sverjensky, Bob Downs[1]

Robert Miller Hazen (born November 1, 1948) is an American mineralogist and astrobiologist. He is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, in the United States. Hazen is the Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory.


Hazen was born in Rockville Centre, New York, on November 1, 1948. His parents were Dorothy Ellen and Don Francis.[4] He spent his early childhood in Cleveland, near a fossil quarry where he collected his first trilobite at the age of about 9.[5]

The Hazen family moved to New Jersey, where Robert's eight-grade teacher, Bill Welsh, observed Robert's interest in his collection of minerals. "He gave me a starter collection of 100 specimens, mineral field guides, and mimeographed directions to Paterson and Franklin, New Jersey."[1] His parents took him to these places, and he would later return to Franklin on a date with his future wife, Margee.[1][5] He also had an early interest in music, starting with the piano at age 5, the violin at 6 and the trumpet at age 9. His father practiced piano for hours each night, and he recalls falling asleep every night to its sound.[6]

Hazen worked on his B.S. and S.M. in Earth Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1971. He started with the intention of going into chemical engineering, but he was captivated by the enthusiasm of David Wones and converted to mineralogy. With Wones as advisor, he completed a masters thesis on cation substitution in trioctahedral micas and then published it in American Mineralogist; this was his first highly cited publication.[7][8] He completed a Ph.D. in Mineralogy & Crystallography at Harvard University in 1975. His thesis, applying high-pressure X-ray techniques to olivine with Charles Burnham, led to another highly cited publication.[7][9]

After studies as NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University in England, he joined the Carnegie Institution's research effort.[10]


Hazen's recent research focuses on the role of minerals in the origin of life, including such processes as mineral-catalyzed organic synthesis and the selective adsorption of organic molecules on mineral surfaces. He has also developed a new approach to mineralogy, called "mineral evolution," which explores the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

He is also an adviser to the Microbes Mind Forum.[16] Hazen and his colleagues started the Carbon Mineral Challenge, a citizen science project dedicated to accelerating the discovery of "missing" carbon-bearing minerals.[17]

Public engagement[edit]

In 2008, Robert Hazen was an outgoing member of the AAAS Committee on Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He and his wife Margee, noting that it is important for scientists to engage with the public but actually doing so does not help them get tenure, proposed a new award, The Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, and established a fund for it.[18] The first award, with a monetary prize of $5,000, was announced in 2010.[19]


Hazen is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Mineralogical Society of America presented Hazen with the Mineralogical Society of America Award in 1982 and the Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2009.[20][21] In 2016, he received its highest award, the Roebling Medal.[7][1] He also served as Distinguished Lecturer and is a Past President of the Society. A mineral that was discovered in Mono Lake was name hazenite in his honor by Hexiong Yang, a former student of his.[15]

He received the American Chemical Society Ipatieff Prize in 1986.[22]

For the book The Music Men, he and his wife Margaret received the Deems Taylor Award from the ASCAP in 1989.[23]

For his popular and educational science writing, Hazen received the Educational Press Association Award (1992),[citation needed] and the E.A. Wood Science Writing Award from the American Crystallographic Association in 1998,[24]

In 2012, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia presented Hazen with its Outstanding Faculty Award.[25]

Hazen has presented numerous named lectures at universities. He gave a Directorate for Biological Sciences Distinguished Lecture at the National Science Foundation in 2007,[26] and Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 2008–2010.[27][28]


Hazen is author of more than 350 articles and 20 books on science, history, and music.

Refereed articles[edit]

Hazen has 289 refereed publications that have been cited a total of over 11,000 times, for an h-index of 58. A selection of articles follows:

  • Hazen, Robert M.; Burnham, C.W. (1973). "The crystal structures of one-layer phlogopite and annite". American Mineralogist. 58: 889–900. 
  • — (1976). "Effects of temperature and pressure on the crystal structure of forsterite". American Mineralogist. 61: 1280–1293. 
  • —; Finger, L. W.; Angel, R. J.; Prewitt, C. T.; Ross, N. L.; Mao, H. K.; Hadidiacos, C. G.; Hor, P. H.; Meng, R. L.; Chu, C. W. (1 May 1987). "Crystallographic description of phases in the Y-Ba-Cu-O superconductor". Physical Review B. 35 (13): 7238–7241. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.35.7238. 
  • —; Prewitt, C. T.; Angel, R. J.; Ross, N. L.; Finger, L. W.; Hadidiacos, C. G.; Veblen, D. R.; Heaney, P. J.; Hor, P. H.; Meng, R. L.; Sun, Y. Y.; Wang, Y. Q.; Xue, Y. Y.; Huang, Z. J.; Gao, L.; Bechtold, J.; Chu, C. W. (21 March 1988). "Superconductivity in the high-Bi-Ca-Sr-Cu-O system: Phase identification". Physical Review Letters. 60 (12): 1174–1177. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.60.1174. 
  • —; Finger, L. W.; Angel, R. J.; Prewitt, C. T.; Ross, N. L.; Hadidiacos, C. G.; Heaney, P. J.; Veblen, D. R.; Sheng, Z. Z.; El Ali, A.; Hermann, A. M. (18 April 1988). "100-K superconducting phases in the Tl-Ca-Ba-Cu-O system". Physical Review Letters. 60 (16): 1657–1660. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.60.1657. 
  • —; Sholl, David S. (June 2003). "Chiral selection on inorganic crystalline surfaces". Nature Materials. 2 (6): 367–374. doi:10.1038/nmat879. 
  • —; Papineau, D.; Bleeker, W.; Downs, R. T.; Ferry, J. M.; McCoy, T. J.; Sverjensky, D. A.; Yang, H. (1 November 2008). "Mineral evolution". American Mineralogist. 93 (11-12): 1693–1720. doi:10.2138/am.2008.2955. 


  • Hazen, Robert M. (1979). North American geology : Early writings. Benchmark papers in geology. 51. Stroudsburg, Pa.: Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross. ISBN 9780879333454. 
  • —; Finger, Larry W. (1984). Comparative crystal chemistry : temperature, pressure, composition, and the variation of crystal structure. Chichester: Wiley. ISBN 9780471102687. 
  • Hazen, Margaret Hindle; Hazen, Robert M. (1985). Wealth inexhaustible : a history of America's mineral industries to 1850. New York, N.Y.: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 9780442235109. 
  • — (1988). The breakthrough : the race for the superconductor. New York: Summit Books. ISBN 9780671658298. 
  • Hazen, Margaret Hindle; Hazen, Robert M. (1987). The music men : an illustrated history of brass bands in America, 1800-1920. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 9780874745467. 
  • Hazen, Robert M.; Trefil, James (1991). Science matters : achieving scientific literacy. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 9780385247962. [29][30][31][32][33]
  • Hazen, Margaret Hindle; Hazen, Robert M. (1992). Keepers of the flame : the role of fire in American culture, 1775-1925. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691048093. 
  • Hazen, Robert M. (1993). The new alchemists : breaking through the barriers of high pressure. New York: Times Books. ISBN 9780812922752. 
  • —; James, Trefil (1996). The physical sciences : an integrated approach. New York: Wiley. ISBN 9780471154402. 
  • — (1997). Why aren't black holes black? : the unanswered questions at the frontiers of science. New York: Anchor Books. ISBN 9780385480147. 
  • — (1999). The diamond makers (Revised ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521654746. 
  • James, Trefil; Hazen, Robert M. (2004). Physics matter : an introduction to conceptual physics. J. Wiley. ISBN 9780471150589. 
  • Hazen, Robert M. (2007). Genesis : the scientific quest for life's origins. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry. ISBN 9780309103107. 
  • — (2013). The story of Earth : the first 4.5 billion years, from stardust to living planet. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143123644. 


  1. ^ a b c d Hazen, Robert M. (1 May 2017). "Acceptance of the 2016 Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America". American Mineralogist. pp. 1134–1135. doi:10.2138/am-2017-AP10252. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Robert M., Hazen. "Curriculum Vitae". Carnegie Science. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  3. ^ Curriculum Vitae - Robert Hazen - March 2015
  4. ^ "About the author". The Diamond Makers. Indigo Books & Music, Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Fields, Helen (October 2010). "The Origins of Life". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Toutant, Pamela (May 2011). "Robert Hazen" (PDF). Applause at Strathmore: 17. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Hemley, Russell J. (1 May 2017). "Presentation of the 2016 Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America to Robert M. Hazen". American Mineralogist. pp. 1133–1133. doi:10.2138/am-2017-AP10251. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Hazen, R. M.; Wones, D. R. (1971). "The effect of cation substitution on the physical properties of trioctahedral micas". American Mineralogist. 57: 103–129. 
  9. ^ Hazen, R.M; Burnham, C.W/ (1973). "The crystal structures of one-layer phlogopite and annite". American Mineralogist. 58: 889–900. 
  10. ^ a b "Biography". Carnegie Science. Geophysical Laboratory. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  11. ^ Rosing, Minik T. (27 November 2008). "Earth science: On the evolution of minerals". Nature. 456 (7221): 456–458. doi:10.1038/456456a. 
  12. ^ Anbar, A. D. (27 September 2012). "A Coevolutionary Tale". Science. 337 (6102): 1606–1606. doi:10.1126/science.1224957. 
  13. ^ Berardelli, Phil (14 November 2008). "Earth's Minerals Evolved, Too". Science. AAAS. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  14. ^ Vasconcelos, C.; McKenzie, J. A. (9 January 2009). "The Descent of Minerals". Science. 323 (5911): 218–219. doi:10.1126/science.1168807. 
  15. ^ a b "How rocks evolve". The Economist. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "Advisers | Provocateurs". Microbes Mind Forum. 
  17. ^ Wilson, Elizabeth K. (21 December 2015). "Worldwide Hunt For Missing Carbon Minerals Begins | Chemical & Engineering News". Chemical and Engineering News. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "Special gifts and projects 2009" (PDF). 2009 Annual Report. AAAS. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  19. ^ "Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipients". American Association for the Advancement of Science. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  20. ^ Hemley, R. J. (25 March 2010). "Presentation of the Distinguished Public Service Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America for 2009". American Mineralogist. 95 (4): 666–666. doi:10.2138/am.2010.557. 
  21. ^ Hazen, R. M. (25 March 2010). "Acceptance of the Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Public Service Medal for 2009". American Mineralogist. 95 (4): 667–667. doi:10.2138/am.2010.556. 
  22. ^ "Ipatieff Prize". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "21st Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award Recipients". The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Past Award Winners". American Crystallographic Association. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  25. ^ "Professor Hazen receives Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award". Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences (Press release). George Mason University. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "The Emergence of Life on Earth...and Other Planets?". News. National Science Foundation. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  27. ^ "Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers, 2008-2009". Sigma Xi. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers, 2009-2010". Sigma Xi. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  29. ^ Culotta, Elizabeth (15 March 1991). "Science's 20 Greatest Hits Take Their Lumps". Science. 251 (4999): 1308–1309. doi:10.1126/science.251.4999.1308. 
  30. ^ Kauffman, George B. (August 1991). "Science matters: Achieving scientific literacy (Hazen, Robert M.; Trefil, James)". Journal of Chemical Education. 68 (8): A213. doi:10.1021/ed068pA213. 
  31. ^ Pool, R. (18 January 1991). "Science Literacy: The Enemy Is Us". Science. 251 (4991): 266–267. doi:10.1126/science.251.4991.266. 
  32. ^ Pool, R. (13 April 1990). "Freshman Chemistry Was Never Like This: To battle science illiteracy among college students, the New Liberal Arts program tries a fresh approach to teaching science". Science. 248 (4952): 157–158. doi:10.1126/science.248.4952.157. 
  33. ^ Hazen, Robert M.; Trefil, James (13 January 1991). "Quick! What's a quark?". The New York Times Magazine. 

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