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AAAS Members Awarded National Science and Technology Medals

AAAS Board member May Berenbaum and Science's former editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts are among the awardees for the National Medal of Science announced today by President Obama. The list of recipients also includes six other current AAAS members.

The National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology, according to a White House press release. The new awardees will receive their medals at a White House ceremony later this year.

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Person, Berenbaum, third, 22 Apr 2014
May Berenbaum

May Berenbaum, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and member of the AAAS board, is recognized because her "pioneering studies of insect-plant co-evolution and her extensive public engagement have made her a world-renowned expert on all insect-related matters," according to the White House. Berenbaum also received the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology in 2009.

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Bruce Alberts

Bruce Alberts, president emeritus of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council (1993-2005), joined AAAS in March 2008 to become the 18th editor-in-chief of Science since the journal's inception in 1880. Alberts is well-known for his work in biochemistry and molecular biology, and in particular, for his extensive study of the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He has long been committed to the improvement of science education, dedicating much of his time to educational issues.

The other AAAS members receiving the medals are Jerrold Meinwald of Cornell University, Burton Richter of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, Sean C. Solomon of Columbia University, Edith M. Flanigen of UOP, LLC., a Honeywell Company, Cherry A. Murray of Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Judith Klinman of the University of California, Berkeley, and Mary Shaw of Carnegie Mellon University.* All except Flanigen are also AAAS Fellows.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation's technological workforce. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the President.

The new recipients are listed below.

National Medal of Science

  • Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan, MI
  • May Berenbaum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Alexandre J. Chorin, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Thomas Kailath, Stanford University, CA
  • Judith P. Klinman, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Jerrold Meinwald, Cornell University, NY
  • Burton Richter, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, CA
  • Sean C. Solomon, Columbia University, NY
  • David Blackwell, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • David Blackwell, University of California, Berkeley, CA (posthumous)

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

  • Charles W. Bachman, MA
  • Edith M. Flanigen, UOP, LLC., a Honeywell Company, NY
  • Eli Harari, SanDisk Corporation, CA
  • Thomas Fogarty, Fogarty Institute for Innovation, CA
  • Arthur D. Levinson, Calico, CA
  • Cherry A. Murray, Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, MA
  • Mary Shaw, Carnegie Mellon University, PA
  • Douglas Lowy and John Schiller, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, MD

* In an earlier version of this story, the list of AAAS members receiving medals incorrectly included Thomas Kailath and omitted Judith Klinman and Mary Shaw.

[Adapted from a White House press release]