John Waugh Wins 2011 Welch Award

The award carries a $300,000 prize, and Waugh will receive a gold medallion at a ceremonial dinner on Monday night.

Waugh said his father was an economist, but his amateur interests in astronomy and botany spurred a love for science in his son at a young age.

Those interests in chemistry and physics eventually led Waugh to graduate school at Caltech, where he studied under such luminous scientists as Richard Feynmann and Linus Pauling.