FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 04, 2013

President Obama bestows National Medals to six American Chemical Society members

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 — Six eminent American Chemical Society (ACS) members were among 22 recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation honored Friday by President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony. The medals are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists, engineers and inventors.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see these members of the American Chemical Society honored among this distinguished group of 22 medalists,” said ACS President Marinda Li Wu. “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to them on this well-deserved national recognition and honor. I believe all of us in the science and technology community can partner to solve global challenges we face with future innovations."

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce.

ACS members receiving medals

2011 National Medal of Science

  • Allen Bard, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin — (2002 ACS Priestley Medalist) for contributions in electrochemistry, including electroluminescence, semiconductor photoelectrochemistry and electroanalytical chemistry, and the invention of the scanning electrochemical microscope.
  • John Bannister Goodenough, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin — for groundbreaking cathode research that led to the first commercial lithium ion battery, which has since revolutionized consumer electronics with technical applications for portable and stationary power.
  • Leroy Hood, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle — for pioneering spirit, passion, vision, inventions and leadership, combined with unique cross-disciplinary approaches, resulting in entrepreneurial ventures that have challenged and transformed the fields of biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, personalized medicine and science education.
  • Marion Fredrick Hawthorne, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia — (2009 ACS Priestley Medalist) for highly creative pioneering research in inorganic, organometallic and medicinal borane chemistry; sustained and profound contributions to scientific and technical advice related to national security; and for effective, prolific and devoted service to the broad field of chemical sciences.

2011 National Medal of Technology and Innovation

  • Frances Hamilton Arnold, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena — for pioneering research on biofuels and chemicals that could lead to the replacement of pollution-generating materials.
  • Robert S. Langer, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge — (2012 ACS Priestley Medalist) for inventions and discoveries that led to the development of controlled drug release systems, engineered tissues, angiogenesis inhibitors and new biomaterials.

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