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News Release 97-077

President Clinton Honors Recipients of the Nation's Highest Science and Technology Awards

December 16, 1997

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

President Clinton today presented the nation's most prestigious science and technology honors, awarding nine National Medals of Science and five National Medals of Technology.

"Today we honor 14 remarkable men and women for extraordinary individual accomplishments--from discovering new ways to chart the universe, to exploring the internal universe of human nature," said the president at a ceremony in Washington D.C. "By giving these awards, we also honor the American passion for discovery that has driven our nation forward--from field to factory to the far reaches of cyberspace. This spirit of discovery will lead us into a new century and a new millenium."

National Science Foundation (NSF) director Neal Lane called the medalists "superstars" who often work in anonymity.

"It is fitting that on this day, at least, we shine a spotlight on the benefits bestowed on society by the very best minds in modern science and applaud these sterling contributions to humanity's store of knowledge," Lane said.

In his remarks, the president emphasized the economic benefits of science and technology.

"Half of our economic growth in the last half century has come from technological innovation and the science that supports it.....technological innovation also depends on government support in research and development."

The National Medal of Science was established by Congress in 1959 and is adminstered by the National Science Foundation. It honors contributions by outstanding individuals who have significantly advanced knowledge in the following fields; physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, and sociology and other behavioral sciences. Nominations are reviewed by the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science. Including this year's recipients, the Medal has been awarded to 353 scientists and engineers.

The National Medal of Technology was established by Congress in 1980 and is adminstered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It recognizes technological innovation and advancement of U.S. global competitiveness.


See also: "Vital Statistics" of the 1997 National Medal of Science Winners.

Editors: For a list of winners and biographical information, contact Bill Noxon.

Media Contacts
William C. Noxon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Susan Fannoney, NSF, (703) 292-8096, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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