January 31, 2000 -- President Clinton today named 12 of the nation's most respected researchers, three of them Nobel Prize winners, to receive the 1999 National Medal of Science.
Honoring the discoveries and lifetime achievements of the nation's top scientists, the Medal of Science recipients named by the president today represent a widely diverse group that: created wholly new scientific fields, such as conservation biology and speech sciences; led to discoveries that determined why the ozone "hole" exists; and legitimized theories about technological progress on economic growth, among others.
"The contributions of these scientists are so profound, so connected to our everyday lives and so lasting that these medals go only a short way to express the gratitude the nation owes them," said Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The new medalists are the last to be named in the 20th Century. They will receive their medals along with five awardees of the National Medal of Technology, which were also announced today, on March 14 at the White House.
David Baltimore, president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), is one of three new medalists to have won the Nobel Prize. Baltimore made a key discovery of a protein carried in cancer-inducing viruses that reverses the ordinary flow of information in biological systems, leading to further discoveries of cancer-causing genes known today. Baltimore's discovery was made simultaneously with Howard Temin of the University of Wisconsin, for which they shared the 1975 Nobel Prize. Physicist James W. Cronin at the University of Chicago won a Nobel Prize in 1980 with Val Fitch of Princeton University for discovering one of the essential ingredients in explaining the predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe. Economist Robert M. Solow, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), won the 1987 Nobel Prize for demonstrating the critical importance of technological advances on economic growth.
Three of the scientists named today are from the University of Chicago. Chemist Stuart A. Rice is receiving a medal for his work in physical chemistry. Nobel laureate Cronin and physicist Leo P. Kadanoff are receiving awards in physical sciences - Cronin for lifetime work in elementary particle physics and astrophysics, and Kadanoff for his contributions to statistical, solid state and nonlinear physics.
Nobelist Baltimore, along with Jared Diamond, physiology professor at UCLA School of Medicine, and Lynn Margulis, a University of Massachusetts distinguished professor will receive Medals of Science for their work in the biological sciences.
In addition to Chicago's Rice, chemistry medals will go to John Ross, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University and Susan Solomon a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colo.
Nobel laureate Solow, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), will receive his science medal in economic sciences. Another M.I.T. faculty member, Kenneth N. Stevens, an engineering professor, will receive a medal in engineering for his research in speech sciences that laid the groundwork for many of the speech synthesis and recognition technologies of today.
Felix E. Browder of Rutgers University and Ronald R. Coifman at Yale University were named to receive Medals of Science for mathematics.
Congress established the Medal of Science in 1959, which NSF administers. Counting today's recipients, there have been 374 medals bestowed on leading U.S. scientists and engineers.
For more information see Fact Sheet at http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/media/fsmedalofsci.htm
Summaries of Achievements - 1999 Science Medalists
David Baltimore, Professor of Biology and President, California Institute of Technology, for far-reaching, fundamental discoveries that dramatically altered field of study in virology, molecular biology and immunology, for excellence in building scientific institutions, and in fostering communication between scientists and the general public. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, National Science Foundation, 703-306-1070 [email protected], and Robert Tindol, CalTech, Pasadena, 626-395-3631, [email protected])
Jared Diamond, Professor of Physiology, UCLA School of Medicine, for seminal research in applying Darwinian evolutionary approaches to the disparate fields of physiology, ecology, conservation biology and human history, and for outstanding efforts in communicating science. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF and Elaine Schmidt, 310-794-0777, [email protected], or Roxanne Moster, [email protected])
Lynn Margulis, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure and evolution of living cells, and for extraordinary abilities as a teacher and communicator of science to the public. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Elizabeth Luciano, UMASS, 413-545-0444, [email protected])
Stuart A. Rice, Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor, The James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, for changing the very nature of modern physical chemistry through his research, teaching, and writing, and for using imaginative approaches to both experiment and theory that have inspired a new generation of scientists. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Steve Koppes, University of Chicago, 773-702-8366, [email protected])
John Ross, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University, for his enormous impact in physical chemistry, especially in molecular studies, statistical mechanics, nonlinear kinetics, and for opening up new fields in chemical science. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Dawn Levy, 650-725-1944, [email protected])
Susan Solomon, Senior Scientist, Aeronomy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, Colorado, for key insights into explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole." Solomon advanced the understanding of the global ozone layer, which changed the direction of ozone research and provided exemplary service to worldwide public policy. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Barb McGehan, NOAA, Boulder, Colo., 303-4497-6288, [email protected] and Tim Tomastik, NOAA, Washington, D.C., 202-482-6090, [email protected])
Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for creating the modern framework for analyzing the effects of investment and technological progress on economic growth, which has greatly influenced economics and economic policy worldwide. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Deborah Halber, 617-258-5402, [email protected])
Kenneth N. Stevens, C.J. LeBel Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for pioneering contributions to the theory, mathematical methods and analysis of acoustics in speech production, and establishing the contemporary foundations of speech science. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Deborah Halber, 617-258-5402, [email protected])
Felix E. Browder, University Professor, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J., for pioneering mathematical work in the creation of nonlinear functional analysis that opened up new avenues in nonlinear problems, and for leadership in the scientific community that broadened the range of interactions among disciplines. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Joseph Blumberg, 732-932-7084 ext.652, [email protected])
Ronald R. Coifman, Phillips Professor of Mathematics, Yale University, New Haven, Conn,. for fundamental contributions to the field of harmonic analysis and for adapting that field to the capabilities of the digital computer to produce a family of fast, robust computational tools that have substantially benefited science and technology. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Jacqueline Weaver, 203-432-8555, [email protected])
James W. Cronin, University Professor Emeritus, The Enrico Fermi Institute, The University of Chicago, for fundamental contributions to the fields of elementary particle physics and astrophysics and as a leader in creating an international effort to determine the unknown origins of very high-energy cosmic rays. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Steve Koppes, University of Chicago, 773-702-8366, [email protected])
Leo P. Kadanoff, John D. MacArthur, Distinguished Service Professor, The James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, for leadership in fundamental theoretical research in statistical, solid state and nonlinear physics which has led to numerous and important applications in engineering, urban planning, computer science, hydrodynamics, biology, applied mathematics and geophysics. (Media Contacts: Bill Noxon, NSF, and Steve Koppes, University of Chicago, 773-702-8366, [email protected])
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