Carnegie's Richard Meserve to receive AAAS Abelson Award

February 11, 2009

Washington, D.C. The American Association for the Advancement of Science will present Richard A. Meserve, president of the Carnegie Institution, the 2008 Philip Hauge Abelson Award for "advancing and promoting the use of science in the service of the public interest, and for exceptional contributions to the institutions [he has] served, to the scientific community at large, and to the general public, both in the U. S. and abroad."

Meserve is the ninth president of the Carnegie Institution. He arrived in April 2003, after stepping down as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. With his Harvard law degree and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford, Meserve has served on numerous legal and scientific committees over the years, including many established by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. He currently serves as chairman of the International Nuclear Safety Group, which is chartered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and he is a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University. Among other affiliations, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Philosophical Society, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. Meserve serves on the board of directors of PG&E Corporation, the Universities Research Association, Inc., and on the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the National Commission on Energy Policy.

Chairman of the Carnegie board, Michael Gellert, remarked: "Dick Meserve has long been dedicated to the international advancement of science. We are particularly proud to see him recognized by this award, which is named for another Carnegie president and eminent scientist, the late Philip Abelson."
Past recipients include former Carnegie president and current trustee Maxine Singer and Carnegie Senior Trustee Frank Press. The AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award was established in 1985. Meserve is receiving the award at the association's annual meeting in Chicago. The prize includes $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. The Carnegie Institution for Science ( has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It is a private, nonprofit organization with six research departments throughout the U.S. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

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