Dr. Leon Lederman

As a physicist, researcher, university professor, national laboratory director, and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Leon Lederman has influenced the role of science and science education. At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, he became a leader in launching programs to encourage young people to pursue their scientific interests. His deep concern for the quality of science and mathematics education in Illinois, and his intense commitment to motivate students to pursue careers in science, led him to propose the concept of a unique high school for Illinois--a school that would inspire and challenge students of exceptional talent.

Science represents the human need to understand the world in which we live. Because of Dr. Lederman's example and as a result of his energy, the Academy stands as a symbol of Illinois' faith in scientific progress. The development of scientific vision among teachers and students serves to nurture the most precious resource given to humanity--the creative mind.

The Fermilab History and Archives Project: Leon M. Lederman Collection contains the multi-media records of the history (1922 - present) and administration (1978-89) of the second Director of Fermilab. Finding Aid to the Leon Max Lederman Collection, 1888-2012 (bulk 1980-2012)

The IMSA Oral Histories include interviews with Dr. Lederman, President Emerita, Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, and alumni from the 1989 charter class that provide insight into the founding and early history of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.


Browse the Dr. Leon Lederman Collections:

This series contains articles, reports, and communications by or about Dr. Lederman and transcripts from his speeches.

Image Gallery
The Dr. Leon Lederman Image Gallery contains high resolution photographs of paintings and plaques and historical photographs of events.

IMSA Great Minds Program ®
The IMSA Great Minds Program® was launched in 1998 by IMSA Founder, Resident Scholar, and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Leon Lederman. It provides IMSA students and faculty, Illinois educators and students, and the public with opportunities to learn from, interact with and be inspired by the “greatest minds” of our time. Serving as a catalyst to stimulate the creation of a new system of teaching and learning, the program’s purpose is to “fan the imagination” and stimulate the curiosity of young people and adults about the limitless possibilities of the future.

Lectures, Speeches, and Talks
"You suddenly realize that you and your colleagues know something that no one else does...and that it is important. You're lucky if it happens once in a lifetime. I've been super-lucky." New York Post, 2.10.66

Lederman Sketches
"In 1600, Francis Bacon wrote about the importance of ordinary people to understand the progress of science. In 1600, "It would be useful" he said. In 2000, in a century already exploding with science-based technology, I believe it is absolutely essential for survival of democratic society!" Excerpt from the INFUNAM Lecture II Science Education