FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Tue Sep 21 16:42:03 EDT 2010

ACS President appointed to President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2010 — President Barack Obama has appointed American Chemical Society (ACS) President Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., to serve on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.

“I am deeply honored to have been appointed to serve on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science,” ACS President Joseph S. Francisco said. “The National Medal of Science is awarded to distinguished scientists and engineers for lifetime contributions to research and development. It is our nation’s expression of thanks to the men and women who have devoted decades to scientific discovery and achievement.”

The White House released news of Francisco’s appointment, as well as nominations and appointments for seven other key administrative posts, on Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. President Barack Obama was quoted in the release as saying, “I am confident that these impressive men and women will make valued additions to this administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Joseph S. Francisco is president of the American Chemical Society and served as president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers from 2005 to 2007. Dr. Francisco is the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Purdue University. His laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics, photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase — work that informs the scientific knowledge of Earth’s atmosphere.

Dr. Francisco is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and his B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977.

The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences.” In 1980, Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences.

The National Medal of Science Committee is comprised of 12 scientists and engineers, appointed by the President, to evaluate the nominees and make selections for the award. The committee operates under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 441 distinguished scientists and engineers. For a database of recipients from 1962 to present, please visit: www.nsf.gov/od/nms/recipients.cfm.

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Credit: Peter Cutts Photography