National Science Medalists Named

December 08, 1998

President Clinton today named nine of the nation's most renowned scientific researchers to receive the National Medal of Science, citing them for "their creativity, resolve, and a restless spirit of innovation to ensure continued U.S. leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge."

The individuals awarded the nation's highest scientific honor have had wide-ranging impact on social policy, cancer research, materials science, and greatly extended knowledge of our Earth and the solar systems. Their theoretical achievements also led to many practical applications.

"These are superstars in their respective fields," Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), said. "They've contributed a lifetime of stunning discoveries. We can only recognize them once with a science medal, but we applaud them daily for their continual contributions to humankind, to the reservoir of scientific knowledge and for the impact they have on the students they mentor and educate along the way."

William Julius Wilson, a professor of social policy at Harvard University's JFK School of Government, is one of this year's awardees. He is noted for influencing a generation of social scientists through his studies and published works in urban poverty and its causes.

Bruce N. Ames, University of California, Berkeley, and Janet D. Rowley, University of Chicago, have had a major impact on cancer-related studies -- Ames for work on cancer and aging, Rowley for her research in chromosome abnormalities that opened new areas of study in different types of leukemia.

John W. Cahn, a fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., is considered the nation's intellectual leader in materials science.

Eli Ruckenstein, a Romanian-born professor of engineering and applied science at the State University of New York in Buffalo, has many pioneering achievements in most areas of chemical engineering and is a world leader in catalysis and surface phenomona.

George M. Whitesides, chesitry professor at Harvard University, made revolutionary discoveries in several fields of chemistry and more recently, notable advances in the fabrication of ultra small structures.

Cathleen Synge Morawetz, a mathematics professor at New York University, advanced the science of new aircraft wing design because of her work in partial differential equations started in the 1950s.

Don L. Anderson, a geophysics professor at Caltech, has led the way to better understanding of Earth and Earth-like planets.

John N. Bahcall, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, was a key figure in helping plan the development of the Hubble Space Telescope while also pioneering the development of neutrino astrophysics.

Including this year's recipients, the National Medal of Science now has been awarded to 362 leading U.S. scientists and engineers. The medal was established by Congress in 1959 and is administered by NSF. It honors individuals who have significantly advanced knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. A 12-member presidential committee reviews nominations for the annual awards.

-NSF-

Attachment:List of individual recipients and institution contacts

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Attachment

RECIPIENTS OF THE 1998 NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE

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National Science Foundation

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