WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will honor 18 individuals with awards recognizing extraordinary scientific achievements in the areas of astronomy, biology, medicine, chemistry, geology, oceanography, physics, and psychology. These outstanding scientists have made fundamental contributions to human knowledge, including a near-infrared survey of the entire sky, the discovery of the first statin for lowering cholesterol, and insights into how the human visual system learns to recognize objects.
The awards and recipients for 2007 are:
ALEXANDER AGASSIZ MEDAL a medal and a prize of $15,000 awarded every three years for original contributions in the science of oceanography goes to JAMES R. LEDWELL, senior scientist, department of applied ocean physics and engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass., "for innovative and insightful tracer experiments using sulfur hexafluoride to understand vertical diffusivity and turbulent mixing in the open ocean." The medal was established by a gift of Sir John Murray and has been awarded since 1913.
JOHN J. CARTY AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE a medal and a prize of $25,000 awarded annually for noteworthy and distinguished accomplishment in any field of science (plant science in 2007) goes to JOSEPH R. ECKER, professor, plant biology laboratory and genomic analysis laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif., "for contributions in the areas of ethylene signal transduction and ARABIDOPSIS genomics that have paved the way for a revolution in modern agriculture." The award was established by the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. in honor of John J. Carty and has been awarded since 1932.
ALEXANDER HOLLAENDER AWARD IN BIOPHYSICS a prize of $20,000 awarded every three years for outstanding contributions in the field of biophysics goes to BARRY H. HONIG, investigator, Howard Hughes Medi