UC Berkeley press release

NEWS RELEASE, 12/15/97

President Clinton to honor recipients of nation's highest technology and science awards

by Bill Noxon, National Science Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Clinton will present the nation's most prestigious technology and science honors, the National Medal of Technology and the National Medal of Science, to fourteen outstanding scientists, inventors and business leaders from around the country on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

The innovations and discoveries of this year's laureates have led to revolutionary achievements in areas such as: the understanding of the human genetic code; development of the Internet; improved cancer diagnosis and treatment; and enhanced motion picture sound.

Past recipients of the National Medal of Technology include Bill Gates of Microsoft, Gordon Moore of Intel, and the world's largest and most comprehensive health care company, Johnson & Johnson.

Past recipients of the National Medal of Science include Eugene M. Shoemaker, co-discoverer of the Shoemaker-Levy comet; economist Milton Friedman; and C. Kumar N. Patel, who invented the carbon dioxide laser, which helped revolutionize such fields as medical surgery.

This year's National Medal of Technology Laureates are: Norman R. Augustine (Lockheed Martin Corp.); Ray M. Dolby (Dolby Laboratories); Robert S. Ledley (Georgetown Univ. Medical Cntr.); and the team of Vinton G. Cerf (MCI) and Robert E. Kahn (Corporation for National Research Initiatives).

The new National Medal of Science Laureates are: William K. Estes and Shing-Tung Yau (Harvard University); Darleane C. Hoffman and Harold S. Johnston (Univ. of California at Berkeley); Marshall N. Rosenbluth (Univ. of California, San Diego); posthumously to Martin Schwarzschild (Princeton University); James D. Watson (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY); Robert A. Weinberg (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); and George W. Wetherill (Carnegie Institution, DC).

For more information on the 1997 medalists, see below.

Presentation of the medals will take place in the Old Executive Office Building at 11:30 a.m.

1997 National Medal of Technology Recipients

Norman R. Augustine, Chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation in Bethesda, MD, for visionary leadership in maintaining the United States' preeminence in the aerospace industry and for identifying and championing solutions to the many challenges in civil and defense systems. He has pioneered numerous technological innovations that have helped make America's fighting forces the best equipped in the world.

Ray M. Dolby, Chairman of the Board, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. in San Francisco, CA, for inventing technologies that have dramatically improved sound recording and reproduction, fostering their adoption worldwide, and maintaining a vision that has kept the world listening. From the cassettes we enjoy in our car stereos to the latest digital sound in movie theaters, the world hears music and sound better because of Ray Dolby and the company he founded, Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

Robert S. Ledley, Director of Medical Computing and Biophysics and Professor of Radiology, Physiology, and Biophysics at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, for pioneering contributions to biomedical computing and engineering, including inventing the whole-body CT scanner, and for his role in developing automated chromosome analysis for prenatal diagnosis of birth defects. He has applied emerging computer technology to meet the rapidly evolving needs of biomedicine.

Team Award jointly to Vinton Gray Cerf, Senior Vice President of Data Architecture at MCI in Reston, VA, and Robert E. Kahn, President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives in Reston, VA, for creating and sustaining the development of Internet protocols and continuing to provide leadership in the emerging industry of internetworking. They had the vision to realize the tremendous potential of computers communicating and the know-how and perseverance to enable the creation of the network of networks known today as the Internet.

1997 National Medal of Science Recipients

William K. Estes, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, for fundamental theories of cognition and learning that transformed the field of experimental psychology and led to the development of quantitative cognitive science. His pioneering methods of quantitative modeling and an insistence on rigor and precision established the standard for modern psychological science.

Darleane C. Hoffman, Professor of the Graduate School at University of California-Berkeley, for her discovery of plutonium in nature and for her numerous contributions to our understanding of radioactive decay, notably of heavy nuclei. She is an internationally recognized leader in nuclear chemistry, particularly the topics of nuclear fission, properties of actinide elements, and reactions of heavy ions.

Harold S. Johnston, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, for understanding the chemistry of nitrogen compounds and their role and reactions in the earth's stratosphere and in urban areas. His chemical and environmental research, along with his commitment to science in the service of society have resulted in pivotal contributions to the understanding and conservation of the earth's atmosphere.

Marshall N. Rosenbluth, Professor of Physics at the University of California in San Diego, for his fundamental contributions to plasma physics, his leadership in the quest to develop controlled thermonuclear fusion, and his wide-ranging technical contributions to national security. His theoretical studies of the behavior of plasmas and their instabilities provided a significant foundation for the design and development of prototype devices for fusion power.

Martin Schwarzschild, Higgins Professor of Astronomy Emeritus (deceased)at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, for his seminal contributions to the theory of the evolution of stars and his creative insights into the dynamics of galaxies. His research forms the basis of much of contemporary astrophysics, and the many students he trained are among today's leaders in the field.

James D. Watson, President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, for five decades of scientific and intellectual leadership in molecular biology, starting with his co-discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. He was a forceful advocate for the Human Genome Project and shaped that effort as the founding Director of the National Center for Human Genome Research.

Robert A. Weinberg, Member of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, for crucial discoveries that clarified the genetic basis of human cancers. His work has influenced virtually all major aspects of our current understanding of the origins of cancer, from mutations affecting certain cellular genes, to the development of diagnostic tests for such mutations, to the description of the combination of events that produce cancer.

George W. Wetherill, Staff Member of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Washington, DC, for his fundamental contributions to measuring astronomical time scales and understanding how earth-like planets may be created in evolving solar systems. His pioneering achievements include developing precise radiometric techniques for dating the age of meteorites and creating conceptual models and computer algorithms for the accretion of a few solid, terrestrial planets by collision with smaller neighbors.

Shing-Tung Yau, Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, for profound contributions to mathematics that have had great impact on fields as diverse as topology, algebraic geometry, general relativity, and string theory. His work insightfully combines two different mathematical approaches and has resulted in the solution of several longstanding and important problems in mathematics.

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