President Clinton today honored twelve renowned American scientists and engineers by naming them to receive the National Medal of Science.
In announcing the year 2000 Medal of Science honorees, the president paid tribute to a diverse group of researchers who set new directions in social policy, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, bioengineering, mathematics, physics, and earth and environmental sciences. The medals will be presented at an awards dinner scheduled for December 1 in Washington, D.C.
"These exceptional scientists and engineers have transformed our world and enhanced our daily lives," Clinton said. "Their imagination and ingenuity will continue to inspire future generations of American scientists to remain at the cutting edge of scientific discovery and technological innovation."
Ten of 12 science medalists this year received NSF support for portions of their academic careers or research work. The group honored today includes a Nobel Prize winner from the 1950s and another from the 1990s.
Willis E. Lamb, a University of Arizona regents professor, received a 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics for his experimental work in hydrogen. His revelation of a quantum effect that became known as the "Lamb Shift" helped to create the new field of quantum electrodynamics, a key aspect of modern elementary particle physics. Four decades later, Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in describing the role of social forces that shape individual economic behavior. He is well known for studies that led to new economic analyses of racial discrimination. The methods employed are still used to detect discrimination, such as recent studies on practices in mortgage lending.
"We invest in people whose creative thinking leads to the discoveries that create new bodies of knowledge for the benefit and well-being of the American people," National Science Found
Contact: Bill Noxon
National Science Foundation