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President Clinton Announces 1999 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology Awardees

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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 31, 2000


President Clinton announced today the recipients of the 1999 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest science and technology honors.

"We honor these exceptional U.S. scientists and engineers for their achievements, contributions, and innovations that have sustained U.S. leadership across the frontiers of scientific and technological knowledge, thereby enhancing our ability to shape and improve our nation's future," said President Clinton.

The National Medal of Science, established by Congress in 1959 and administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals for contributions to the present state of knowledge across a variety of science frontiers.  Including this year's recipients, the Medal of Science has been awarded to 374 distinguished scientists and engineers.

The National Medal of Technology, established by Congress in 1980 and administered by the Department of Commerce, recognizes technological innovation and advancement of the nation's global competitiveness, as well as ground-breaking contributions that commercialize a technology, create jobs, improve productivity, or stimulate the nation's growth and development in other ways.  To date, 110 individuals and 11 companies have been honored with this award.

The Secretary of Commerce, William Daley, the President's Science Advisor, Neal Lane, and the National Science Foundation's director, Rita Colwell, will honor the Awardees at a black-tie banquet on March 13, 2000.  President Clinton is scheduled to bestow the actual medals the next day in a formal White House ceremony in the East Room.


1999 National Medal of Science Awardees

Biological Sciences

David Baltimore, Nobel Laureate and 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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" that changed the direction of ozone research and for providing exemplary service to worldwide public policy on ozone research.

Economic Sciences

Robert M. Solow, Nobel Laureate and 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.


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.


Felix E. Browder, University Professor, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.  for pioneering mathematical work in the creation of nonlinear functional analysis, opening up new avenues in nonlinear problems, and for being a leader in the scientific community to broaden the range of interactions among disciplines.

Ronald R. Coifman, Phillips Professor of Mathematics, Yale University, 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.

Physical Sciences

James W. Cronin, Nobel Laureate and 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.

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.

National Science Foundation, 703-306-1070

1999 National Medal of Technology Awardees


Glen Culler, Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Board (retired), Culler Scientific Systems Corporation, for pioneering innovations in multiple branches of computing, including early efforts in digital speech processing, invention of the first on-line system for interactive graphical mathematics computing and pioneering work on the ARPAnet.

Raymond Kurzweil, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc., for pioneering and innovative achievements in computer science such as voice recognition which have overcome many barriers and enriched the lives of disabled persons and all Americans.

Robert Swanson (deceased), Chairman of K&E Management, Ltd., for his foresight and leadership in recognizing the commercial promise of recombinant DNA technology and his seminal role in the establishment and development of the biotechnology industry.

Robert Taylor, retired, for visionary leadership in the development of modern computing technology, including the ARPAnet, the personal computer and the graphical user interface.

Corporate Awards

Symbol Technologies, Inc. for creating the global market for laser bar code scanning and for technical innovation and practical application of mobile computing and wireless local area network technologies.

Department of Commerce, 202-482-8321

Office of Science and Technology Policy
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
Washington, DC 20502

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President Clinton Announces Recipients Of Nation's Highest Science And Technology Honors

President Clinton Announces 1999 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology Awardees