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Recipients of National Medals of Science and Technology

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June 10, 1996
Contact: Rick Borchelt,
(202) 456-6020


President Clinton today announced the 1996 recipients of the nation's highest science and technology honors, the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology.

"The 13 recipients of these prestigious medals are American champions of research and innovation," the President said. "For their leadership and originality, we honor them with America's version of the Nobel Prize -- the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology."

"Our nation is grateful to these visionaries for advancing our base of knowledge," the President said. "And American industry especially is indebted to them for contributing vital new discoveries and applications that businesses have developed into cutting edge ideas, products and processes. Fueled by science and technology, American enterprise remains the world's leader in today's global marketplace."

Lists of the eight science medalists and five technology medalists are available on this page.

The National Medal of Science, established by Congress and administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals for contributions to the present state of knowledge in one of the following fields: physical, biological, mathematical, engineering or social and behavioral sciences. The medal has now been awarded to 344 distinguished scientists and engineers including Eugene M. Shoemaker, co-discoverer of the Shoemaker-Levy comet; economist Milton Friedman; and Paul Gyorgy who discovered B2, H and B6 vitamins which are essential to human nutrition.

Since its establishment by Congress, the National Medal of Technology, administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, has honored 94 individuals and seven companies for technological innovation and advancement of U.S. global competitiveness. The Medal of Technology also recognizes groundbreaking contributions that commercialize a technology, create jobs, improve productivity or stimulate the nation's growth and development in other ways. Past recipients include Bill Gates of Microsoft, Ed McCracken of Silicon Graphics Inc., and Corning Incorporated for its innovations in glass making for such diverse applications as home kitchens, space shuttles, and electronics.

The National Science and Technology Medals Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, established a public-private partnership to fund activities that support the awarding of both national medals. One of this foundation's missions is to inspire America's youth to pursue excellence in science and technology by promoting the medal recipients as role models. This foundation also strives to broaden public understanding of the link between scientific and technological excellence and economic prosperity, job creation and a higher standard of living.

The medalists will be honored at a White House ceremony later this summer.

1996 National Medal of Science Recipients

Contact: Mary Hansen, National Science Foundation, 703-306-1070

Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Geology, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y. for his pioneering contributions in understanding chemical changes in the ocean and atmosphere. His research encompasses theories of global climate change over the centuries and brings a broad perspective to the current debate over higher concentrations of greenhouse gases as a cause of global warming.

Norman Davidson, Norman W. Chandler Professor Emeritus and executive officer of the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA for breakthroughs in chemistry and biology which have led to the earliest understanding of the overall structure of genomes. For example, Davidson's research on DNA established the principle of nucleic acid renaturation, one of the most import ant principles in molecular biology and a primary tool for deciphering the structure and function of genes.

James L. Flanagan, Director of the Center for Computer Aids for Industrial Productivity and Vice President for Research at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. for his foremost leadership and innovation in bringing engineering techniques and speech science together to solve basic problems in speech communication. Flanagan headed a research group at Bell Laboratories whose work led to the automation of many functions of the U.S. telecommunications network.

Richard M. Karp, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., for his groundbreaking work as university professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley in theoretical computer science. He is responsible for linking advances in theoretical computer science to real-world problems.

C. Kumar N. Patel, vice chancellor for research, University of California-Los Angeles, for his invention of the carbon dioxide laser, a major scientific and technological breakthrough which continues to be an important tool in manufacturing, medical treatment, scientific investigations and materials processing. His carbon dioxide laser also led to the creation of new generations of lasers and laser systems.

Ruth Patrick, Francis Boyer Chair of Limnology, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, for her leadership in understanding biodiversity as an indicator of environmental quality. Her work has become the basis for much of today's environmental research.

Paul A. Samuelson, economist and institute professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., for his fundamental contributions to economic science, education and policy for nearly 60 years, establishing both the agenda of modern economics and scientific standards for economic analysis of a wide range of problems including social security and the public debt, welfare and international trade.

Stephen Smale, mathematician and professor emeritus, University of California-Berkeley, for four decades of pioneering work on basic research questions which have led to major advances in pure and applied mathematics. He is responsible for formulating key definitions, proofs, and conjectures which have energized an ever-growing number of mathematicians and scientists.

1996 National Medal of Technology Recipients

Contact: Kate Wolf at the Department of Commerce,
408-764-0717 [through June 10] and 202-482-3953 [after June 10]
Cheryl Mendonsa, Dept. of Commerce, 202-482-3037.

Charles H. Kaman, president, chairman and CEO, Kaman Corp., Bloomfield, Conn., for his pioneering work in helicopter technology and for making present-day helicopters more stable and easier to fly. He is also responsible for many other innovations including artificial intelligence in medicine and electromagnetic motors to run cleaner public transit buses.

Stephanie Louise Kwolek, consultant and former research associate, Du Pont Co., Wilmington, Del., for her contributions in the discovery and development of high-performance aramid fibers which are used today in products such as light-weight bullet-proof vests and fiber optic cables.

James C. Morgan, chairman and CEO, Applied Materials, Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., for his vision and leadership in the development of the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry. Through his work with Applied Materials, he has successfully positioned the United States as the global leader in this industry.

Peter H. Rose, president, Krytek Corporation, Danvers, Mass., for his leadership in the development and commercialization of ion implantation products, which are necessary for the production of modern semiconductors. His innovative work in this area has enabled the United States to maintain a global leadership position in the implantation equipment industry.

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., the world's largest and most comprehensive health care company, for a century of innovation in the research, development, and commercialization of products such as the first hepatitis C test, a monoclonal antibody that reverses organ rejection, and the first disposable contact lens.

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Recipients of National Medals of Science and Technology