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AAAS Members Awarded Medal at White House Ceremony

Fifteen AAAS fellows and members were awarded the U.S's top prize for scientists, engineers, and inventors, the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation, at a White House ceremony on February 1. President Barack Obama handed out the medals to the nearly two dozen researchers and innovators honored in 2012. Twelve researchers received the National Medal of Science and eleven inventors received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

"Thanks to the sacrifices they've made, the chances they've taken, the gallons of coffee they've consumed — we now have batteries that power everything from cellphones to electric cars. We have a map of the human genome and new ways to produce renewable energy," the president said. "We're learning to grow organs in the lab and better understand what's happening in our deepest oceans. And if that's not enough, the people on this stage are also going to be responsible for devising a formula to tame frizzy hair — as well as inspiring the game Tetris."

The AAAS fellows and members are:

  • Chemist Allen Bard, of the University of Texas at Austin, who pioneered the development of the scanning electrochemical microscope, which can be used to identify cancerous cells (AAAS Fellow)
  • George Carruthers, a space scientist U.S. Naval Research Lab, who helped create the camera/spectrograph that was put on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission (AAAS Fellow)
  • Sallie Chisholm, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the ecology and evolution of microbes in the ocean (AAAS Fellow)
  • Sidney Drell, a Stanford University theoretical physicist and arms control specialist, who has advised the government on national security and defense (AAAS Fellow)
  • Sandra Faber, a University of California, Santa Cruz, astronomer who was part of the team that discovered the "great attractor," a huge concentration of galaxies and invisible matter that seems to tug at our Milky Way galaxy (AAAS Fellow)
  • James Gates, physics professor and string theorist at the University of Maryland (AAAS Fellow)
  • Mathematician Solomon Golomb, of the University of Southern California, who is noted for coining the term "polyominoes" (the geometric figures that eventually inspired the computer game Tetris) (AAAS Fellow)
  • John Goodenough, a physicist and materials scientist of University of Texas at Austin, whose research led to the development of lithium-ion batteries (AAAS Fellow)
  • M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri, whose work with the chemical boron influenced treatments for cancer, arthritis and other diseases (AAAS Fellow)
  • Leroy Hood, of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, whose work helped make mapping the human genome possible (AAAS Fellows)
  • Frances Arnold, a Caltech engineer and a pioneer in the development of sustainable biofuels and "directed evolution," which is a technique that uses evolution to steer biological processes (AAAS Fellow)
  • Gholam Peyman, of Arizona Retinal Specialists, who invented the LASIK surgical technique
  • Art Rosenfeld, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, who has helped develop energy-efficient building technologies
  • Stanford researcher Lucy Shapiro, whose discovery that the bacterial cell is controlled by an integrated genetic circuit functioning serves as a model for cell differentiation and the generation of diversity in all organisms (AAAS Fellow)
  • Jan Vilcek, of NYU Langone Medical Center, who helped develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (AAAS Fellow)

The full list of recipients:

National Medal of Science

Allen Bard, University of Texas at Austin, TX
Sallie Chisholm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Sidney Drell, Stanford University, CA
Sandra Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland, MD
Solomon Golomb, University of Southern California, CA
John Goodenough, University of Texas at Austin, TX
M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri, MO
Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, WA
Barry Mazur, Harvard University, MA
Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
Anne Treisman, Princeton University, NJ

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology, CA
George Carruthers, U.S. Naval Research Lab, DC
Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Norman McCombs, AirSep Corporation, NY
Gholam Peyman, Arizona Retinal Specialists, AZ
Art Rosenfeld, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA
Jan Vilcek, NYU Langone Medical Center, NY


Samuel Blum, IBM Corporation, NY
Rangaswamy Srinivasan, IBM Corporation, NY
James Wynne, IBM Corporation, NY


Raytheon BBN Technologies, MA, *Represented by CEO, Edward Campbell

Congratuations to all those honored in 2012!