Thursday, October 08, 2009

National Medal of Science Winners

Yesterday President Barak Obama presented the National Medal of Science to nine "eminent researchers" and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to four inventers, the "highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors."

Three women were honored this year with the National Medal of Science.

Dr. Joanna Fowler, Senior Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York

[. . . ] for her pioneering work in chemistry involving the synthesis of medical imaging compounds and her innovative applications of these compounds to human neuroscience, which have significantly advanced our understanding of the human brain and brain diseases, including drug addiction.

Dr. Elaine Fuchs
, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and Investigator, HHMI at the laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, The Rockefeller University, New York
[. . .] for her pioneering use of cell biology and molecular genetics in mice to understand the basis of inherited diseases in humans and her outstanding contributions to our understandings of the biology of skin and its disorders, including her notable investigations of adult skin stem cells, cancers, and genetic syndromes.

Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Novartis Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
[. . . ] for her groundbreaking experiments establishing the mechanisms of ribonucleotide reductases, polyester synthases, and natural product DNA cleavers -- compelling demonstrations of the power of chemical investigations to solve problems in biology.

One woman was honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation:

Dr. Esther Sans Takeuchi, Greatbatch Professor of Advanced Power Sources in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
[. . . ] for her seminal development of the silver vanadium oxide battery that powers the majority of the world's lifesaving implantable cardiac defibrillators, and her innovations in other medical battery technologies that improve the health and quality of life of millions of people.

Three women National Science Winners in a single year is a record high - and historically that number has frequently been zero. While that may seem like an encouraging upward trend, if you check the stats, more women were NMoS recipients in the 1990s (15) than in the 2000s (10). Hopefully, the 2010s will see an improvement in those numbers.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation doesn't provide a way to search recipients by gender (and some winners are actually companies), but looking through the list it appears that Esther Sans Takeuchi is the first woman to win since Stephanie Kwolek in 1996.

Watch the awards ceremony on YouTube:

(President Obama also said some good things about supporting research and math and science education in his speech.)

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الخوجة said...

I WISH IF YOU COULD WRITE A POST ABOUT named as winners of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science award 2009. TO TRANSLATE IT INTO ARABIC.

د.رشيقة أحمد فتحى الريدى

د.رشيقة أحمد فتحى الريدى

د.رشيقة أحمد فتحى الريدى

this is not a spam.I want to link to your post.this is in arabic.regards.alkoga

property said...

All of these people are great men,and they made a lot of contributions to society.Thanks for sharing.

Term Papers said...

Congratulations to all the women you are simple amazing...!

LEMBAR said...

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Julie at iD said...

How exciting that a woman won the innovation category! I hope that the numbers increase in the sciences in 2010! More girls in science and technology!!

Craig @ Tech Camp said...

This is great! I have also found a summer camp that really encourages girls to become confident in technology. It is called iD Tech Camp, if anyone is interested. :)

masini said...

Ok. The women are the best in all domains. Helo World We came.

Cahya said...

I'm also happy that I'm a woman too. Hehe

PR agency said...

What a pity that I can't watch the video normally.

website hosting said...

she is a great woman.Thanks for sharing.

Peggy K said...

I'm guessing that no one told you that you were inherently incapable of doing your job. I'll bet that your workplace didn't have any pictures of scantily clad men or that the women you worked with got lap dances from men at your company party, or that you were given other reminders that your primary function as a man was to serve as eye candy.

When you were standing up for yourself to get fair pay, it's unlikely that your boss or co-workers were calling you a hysterical bitch behind your back.

And while you may not care about day care, I'm wondering if you have children, and if you do whether the children's mother is their primary care giver or you are. It's easy not to care about something you don't need.

And just to be clear, the things you mention about quitting for higher pay and so forth, aren't really applicable to academic scientific research, where mentoring does play a large role for both men and women, and job hopping only works for top scientists.

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WHOIS said...

Good News. We need to encourage more women in Science.

Henry A. said...

The highest honors? That's quite impressive coming from Obama. Learnt he has vast interest on science, so that explains it.