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Photo of Arden Bement

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
National Science Foundation

Reception for the 2006 Presidential Early Career
Awards for Scientists and Engineers Recipients

November 2, 2007

Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to welcome you the 2006 PECASE awardees, and your families and friends, to NSF.

You should know that your contributions to science are highly valued by our society. You may not receive red carpet treatment in your daily lives, but let me assure you: to the National Science Foundation and to the Nation, you are certainly Very Important People and we're delighted to honor your accomplishments today.

As winners of Presidential Early Career Awards, you represent the very best of U.S. science and engineering.

From the beginning of your career, you demonstrated a commitment to science or engineering both in research and education that set you apart from your peers. You were chosen from a pool of talented researchers from across the country to receive CAREER grants.

Last year, you were selected to receive the PECASE award, the highest honor the United States bestows on early career scientists and engineers.

Your research, ranging from the detection of emotion in speech to the study of vertebrate steroid receptors to applying nanotechnology to biological adhesion, has and will continue to lead to the discoveries of the future.

These discoveries will lay the groundwork for technologies our Nation will require as we face the challenges imposed not only by the demands of an increasingly complicated world, but by how far we can stretch our imagination.

As important as discovery is, it cannot stand alone in academic science and engineering. Education is an equally important component of an exemplary academic career, both on campus and in your broader communities.

You have shown yourselves to be mentors and educators in various, inspiring ways from serving as a role model for future generations of Native Americans to teaching high school students about the challenges of designing satellite missions.

We extend to each of you an invitation to develop a lifelong partnership with NSF. As the federal science and engineering agency, we serve as your primary link to policymakers and the citizens of this country.

We can help you continue to

  • Conduct outstanding science and engineering research
  • Incorporate education into your research activities
  • Reach out to local schools to get young students thinking about science and engineering careers
  • Reach out to the public with clear communication about your research, and
  • Serve as leaders and role models in your universities, communities, and states.

This week's ceremonies will be front-page news in your hometowns. Your VIP status is well deserved, and let me assure you that your accomplishments are equally important to decision-makers in your state capitals and here in Washington.

Let me conclude by extending my hearty congratulations to all of you on your awards. We look forward to seeing much more of you in the future.