The National Science Board (NSB) has named Maxine Frank Singer, Ph.D., president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. to receive the 1999 Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime contributions to science and engineering.
The NSB, the governing body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), annually honors a senior scientist and statesperson as a distinguished leader in science, engineering or technology. The Bush Award recognizes years of pioneering discoveries, public service and contributions to the welfare of the nation.
Singer's honor is a result of her many years of pioneering scientific achievements in molecular biology. She was also recognized for her activism and creativity in developing programs in math and science education for inner- city Washington, D.C., school children and their teachers. She was also cited for her willingness to speak out on science matters facing society and for influencing national science policy, particularly where there were social, moral, or ethical implications.
Singer's research contributions range over several areas of biochemistry and molecular biology, and the evolution of defective viruses. She pioneered the isolation and characterization of enzymes involved in nucleic acid metabolism. Her work made it possible to make the RNA molecules that led to the discovery of the genetic code.
Since 1988, Singer has been Carnegie Institution's 8th president. Vannevar Bush was its 4th.
"Singer has been a spokesperson and leader on issues related to the
promise of genetic manipulation in research and the curing of disease. She
shares with other scientists a concern about the decline of math and science
education in this country, the lack of understanding of science among the
general population, and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the
scientific community," said Vera Rubin, member of the National Science Board and
staff member at Carnegie's Depa
Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation