NSF released a report on its proposal and reward mechanisms. The cover depicts Sensation: Interior View (2006), an abstract sculpture by Jersey City artist Nancy Cohen that was inspired by discussions with Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman. Tilghman, a leader in the field of molecular biology, collaborated with Cohen and Princeton University Electrical Engineering Professor James Sturm on the artwork, which is an abstraction about the sense of smell and how odors are recognized and remembered. Mulit-colored cast resin discs are affixed to a steel armature forming a wall that connects to bulb-shaped structures by vibrant wires. The different colors of discs represent the sensor neurons in the nose that detect different odorant molecules; the wires represent the axonal connections that pass through the skull to the olfactory bulb in the brain, with the neurons from each type of sensor going to their own specific region in the olfactory bulb.
Credit: Edward Greenblat, Photographer, Princeton, NJ; Nancy Cohen, Sculptor, Jersey City, NJ; and Professors Shirley Tilghman and James Sturm, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.