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National Science Foundation

The National Medal of Science 50th Anniversary

"The President shall from time to time award the medal, on the basis of recommendations received from the National Academy of Sciences or on the basis of such other information and evidence as he deems appropriate, to individuals who in his judgment are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences."

Public Law 86-209

The National Medal of Science (NMS) is the highest honor bestowed upon American scientists and engineers by the president of the United States. The medal is awarded to individuals to bring special recognition to their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the areas of physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, and behavioral or social sciences, and for their exemplary service to the nation.

On Aug. 25, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law legislation creating the NMS, and President John F. Kennedy awarded the first medal in 1963. And now, we celebrate the National Medal of Science's 50th anniversary.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.