WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences has selected Maxine F. Singer, president emeritus of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, to receive the Public Welfare Medal, its most prestigious award. The Public Welfare Medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Singer will receive the award for providing inspired and effective leadership in matters of science and its relationship to education and public policy. "Dr. Singer represents the best aspects of scientific citizenship. Today the Academy officially recognizes her dedication and accomplishments in public service," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences.
Singer is a pioneer in molecular biology and an accomplished spokesperson and leader in science policy who has dealt with many of today's key issues. She has championed the cause of women and minorities in science, fostering equal access to education and career opportunities, and has worked tirelessly to improve science education.
As a leader on issues related to the use of genetic manipulation in research and its promise in curing disease, Singer was among the first to bring to public attention the issue of recombinant DNA's potential risks and quickly became a leader in the scientific community's important efforts to regulate itself. She was a key organizer of and contributor to the pathbreaking 1975 Asilomar Conference. Attended by 140 biologists, physicians, lawyers, and members of the press, the conference resulted in a report that established a framework for the conduct of research and the gradual removal of restrictions as understanding grew in future years. Singer was one of five signers of the summary statement.
As chair of the National Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Singer addressed significant issues involving graduate education, postdoctoral scholars, women in science, and scientific conduct. Unde
Contact: Maureen O'Leary
The National Academies