Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

Karen Fischer is 2023 AGU Inge Lehmann Medal Recipient

Professor Karen Fischer was selected to receive the AGU Inge Lehmann Medal, which is given annually to a senior scientist in recognition of outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure, composition, and dynamics of the Earth’s mantle and core. AGU, the world's largest Earth and space science association, annually recognizes a select number of individuals for its highest honors. 

Fischer is recognized by the global Earth and space sciences community for her tremendous efforts and dedication to advancing Earth and space sciences. 

The Lehmann Medal is named in honor of Inge Lehmann, who made many contributions to our understanding of the Earth’s deep interior, including her discovery of the Earth’s inner core in 1936.  Lehmann served for 25 years as the first chief of the seismology department of the Royal Danish Geodetic Institute and was a former president of the European Seismological Federation, the Danish Geophysical Society, and vice president of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior.

Fischer is the  Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Brown’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Studies. Her research focuses on understanding the lithosphere and asthenosphere, how these layers are created and evolve over time, and their roles in plate tectonics and mantle convection. 

Fischer joins other scientists, leaders, educators, journalists, and communicators from around the world who have made outstanding achievements and contributions by pushing forward the frontiers of science. Each recipient embodies the AGU’s community’s shared vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future powered by discovery, innovation, and action.  These recipients have worked with integrity, respect, and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education, diversity, and outreach.

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients at AGU23, which will convene more than 25,000 attendees from over 100 countries in San Francisco and online everywhere on 11-15 December 2023. This celebration is a chance for AGU’s community to recognize the outstanding work of our colleagues and be inspired by their accomplishments and stories.



AGU ( is a global community supporting more than half a million advocates and professionals in the Earth and space sciences. Through broad and inclusive partnerships, AGU aims to advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values. Our programs include serving as a scholarly publisher, convening virtual and in-person events and providing career support. We live our values in everything we do, such as our net zero energy renovated building in Washington, D.C. and our Ethics and Equity Center, which fosters a diverse and inclusive geoscience community to ensure responsible conduct.


AGU press contact:
Samson Reiny, +1 (202) 998-8654, (UTC-4 hours)