National Science Board Names 2008 Public Service Award Winners
Bayer and SAE International recognized for outstanding contributions to increase understanding of science and engineering
The National Science Board (NSB) today announced its 2008 Public Service Award Winners: the Bayer Corporation and SAE International. NSB will honor the awardees for increasing the public understanding of science and engineering at a black tie dinner and ceremony on May 6, 2008, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
The NSB is paying tribute to Bayer for its long-standing and exemplary commitment to science public outreach, science education and science policy--for fostering public science literacy and contributing to the development of a diverse science, technology, engineering and mathematics pipeline of students and future innovators.
"As education is one of the primary mission goals of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Board is particularly pleased to recognize Bayer Corporation for the important work of its Making Science Make Sense® program, through which thousands of students gain exposure to experiential science learning," said NSB Chairman Steven Beering.
Making Science Make Sense, established in 1995, is Bayer's company-wide initiative that advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. It is one of more than 300 corporate social responsibility programs that Bayer supports around the world.
"As a science-based company whose vitality and viability depend on a well-trained, well-educated workforce, we have long been committed to helping improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education in the United States," explained Attila Molnar, president and CEO, Bayer Corporation. "But our involvement also stems from something much larger than our own concerns. It is something that is embodied in Bayer's mission of Science for a Better Life, a mission which holds as one of its key tenets that corporate social responsibility must benefit humankind and society at all levels."
The NSB is recognizing SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers), for its longstanding and superior commitment to student and professional engineers, and math and science education. It was especially impressed with SAE International's A World in Motion and its Collegiate Design Series.
"It's no secret that the number of U.S. students graduating with an engineering degree has decreased significantly," said Raymond A. Morris, SAE International executive vice president and chief operating officer. "SAE's A World in Motion and Collegiate Design Series are two long-standing and award-winning programs endeavoring to reverse this trend by ensuring that the pipeline from elementary school through high school and college keeps students engaged and qualified for the outstanding opportunities available to them in engineering."
"The Board acknowledged SAE International for the magnitude and quality of its engagement in math and science education through its engineering competitions, engineering challenge curriculum, and scholarships and professional awards. The organization truly has made its mark on the science and math education of thousands of students," noted Beering.
David L. Schutt, SAE International executive vice president and chief operating officer-elect, added, "Life-long learning is one of the core competencies of SAE international. We aim to improve math and science literacy; to promote a passion for problem-solving and to inform youths about the exciting career options for engineering students. Literally thousands of students in the United States have taken part in these programs and through their participation have enriched the quality of engineers for industries not only in the U.S., but globally as well."
NSB is the 24-member policy-making body of NSF that advises the president and Congress on matters of U.S. science and engineering. Each year, the NSB presents the Public Service Award to individuals or organizations which, through public service activities in science and technology, have made an outstanding contribution toward the welfare of mankind and the nation.
The Public Service Award was established in 1996 to recognize individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to increasing public understanding of science and engineering. These individuals and organizations have contributed to scientific discovery and its communication to the public, promoted the engagement of scientists and engineers in public outreach and scientific literacy, aided in the development of broad science and engineering policy, influenced and encouraged the next generation of scientists and engineers, and fostered awareness of science and engineering among broad segments of the population.
Last year, the award winners were: NUMB3RS, a popular TV drama series about an FBI agent whose genius mathematician brother helps to solve LA area crimes; and Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, a chemistry professor who pioneered new ways to encourage public understanding of science through his enthusiastic communications and visually exciting chemical demonstrations. A full list of past public service award winners may be viewed at: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/awards/public_recipients.jsp.
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) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Useful NSF Web Sites: