NSB News Release

National Science Board awards NOBCChE its Public Service Award


NOBCChE logo (Credit and Larger Version)

April 19, 2022

Today the National Science Board (NSB) announced that it will bestow its 2022 Public Service Award to the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE®, pronounced no-be-shay). NSB’s award honors exemplary public service in promoting public understanding of science and engineering.

"From its inception, NOBCChE has helped African American and other minority students and professionals realize their full potential in academic, professional, and entrepreneurial pursuits of chemistry, chemical engineering, and allied fields,” says Maureen Condic, who leads the NSB’s honorary awards committee. “NOBCChE is dedicated to ensuring that talent and innovation are not thwarted by political, geographic, racial or cultural barriers.  The work of the society exemplifies the priorities put forward in NSB’s Vision 2030 to expand STEM opportunities to all Americans."

NOBCChE traces its origins to Philadelphia in 1972. Small grants that involved the Haas Community Fund and Drexel University resulted in a survey of African American professionals about their interest in forming an organization that would advocate and promote the cause of diversity in the chemical sciences. An enthusiastic response led to the formation of an organizing committee and eventually to the first national meeting in New Orleans in 1974. The following year, NOBCChE was constituted as a non-profit, professional society under the laws of the State of Georgia. NOBCChE was founded by Professors Joseph Cannon (Howard University), Lloyd Ferguson (California State University), William Jackson (Howard University), William Guillory (Drexel University), Henry McBay (Morehouse College), Charles Meredith (Atlanta University Center), and James Porter (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

"NOBCChE is celebrating 50 years as an organization this year and continues to do the work necessary to ensure African American and Black chemists and chemical engineers are supported in their training and professions. The NOBCChE family has been and is a critical network towards the United States STEM talent pipeline. Our scientists innovate and solve problems at the highest level, inspire, and outreach to the next generation. Our legacy will continue for many decades to come, and we thank the National Science Board for this esteemed recognition," says Dr. Renã AS Robinson, NOBCChE President.

NSB will present NOBCChE with its Public Service Award on May 5, 2022 at an awards ceremony at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Board established its Public Service Award in 1996. The annual award recognizes people and groups (e.g., companies, corporations, organizations) that have increased public understanding of science or engineering. Past Public Service Award individuals include Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Craig Barret, and Alan Alda.

About the National Science Board
The National Science Board and the National Science Foundation's Director jointly head NSF. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes the Foundation's policies. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report on the state of science and engineering in the United States. Members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service.


Media Contacts:

Brandon Powell, National Science Board, (703) 292-2768, bjpowell@nsf.gov

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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