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Vannevar Bush, Public Service and Waterman awardees to present research at NSB meeting

May 04, 2016


The winners of the National Science Board's (NSB) Vannevar Bush Award and Public Service Award and the winner of the Alan T. Waterman Award will present their work during the NSB meeting on May 5, 2016. Presentations will be open to the public at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia and viewable via a live webcast.


Robert J. Birgeneau (2016 Vannevar Bush Award)

Sea Education Association/SEA Semester (2016 Public Service Award)

Mircea Dincã (2016 Waterman Award)


The presentations will take place at the offices of the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 1235. The meeting will also be webcast.


The awardees will present their work at the Plenary Open Session between 10:55 a.m. and 11:55 a.m. and will be available for comment between 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2016. To arrange an interview, please contact Aaron Dubrow. Specific presentation times, webcast link, and other details will be posted on NSB's website and social media pages.


NSB initiated its Vannevar Bush Award in 1980 in memory of Vannevar Bush, who helped establish federal funding for science and engineering as a national priority and played a pivotal role in the creation of the National Science Foundation.

Robert Birgeneau, this year's awardee, is chancellor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and holds the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Chair in the Departments of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering and Public Policy.

NSB is recognizing Birgeneau, an internationally distinguished physicist and leader in the academic community, for his exceptional public service and scientific leadership -- including lifelong, high caliber research committed to the public good, tireless advocacy for the nation's research universities and unrelenting efforts to advance equity and inclusion in higher education and science.

The board established the Public Service award in 1996. The annual award recognizes people and groups (e.g., companies, corporations, organizations) that have increased the public's understanding of science or engineering.

SEA, the sole recipient of the Public Service Award this year, began operations in 1971 and is now an internationally recognized leader in undergraduate ocean education. Based in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, SEA equips high school students and undergraduates with tools to become environmentally literate leaders prepared to address the defining issue of the 21st century: human impacts on the environment.

Public Law 94-86 of the 94th Congress established the Waterman Award in 1975 to mark the 25th anniversary of the NSF and to honor its first director, Alan T. Waterman. The annual Alan T. Waterman Award honors an outstanding young U.S. scientist or engineer. The awardee receives a grant of $1 million over five years for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science, plus a medal and other recognition.

Mircea Dincã, a chemistry professor at MIT, demonstrated in his research that metal organic frameworks (MOF) can store electrical energy -- something previously unknown -- resulting in a new class of MOF materials with high surface areas possessing "charge mobility values." One day, they may be used in electrocatalysis for renewable energy applications, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen reduction in fuel cells or electric vehicle fuel storage.

National Science Foundation

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