Clinton Awards 14 Science, Technology Medals

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Nine basic scientists, one heart surgeon, two industrial teams, and two life science companies have been selected as the 1998 recipients of the National Medals of Science and Technology. Today's announcement by the White House means that a total of 468 individuals and 10 companies have been honored since the prestigious medals were first awarded, in 1959 for science and in 1985 for technology.

The 1998 National Medals of Science, chosen by a panel assembled by the National Science Foundation, go to:

  • Bruce Ames, epidemiologist, University of California, Berkeley, for his work on mutations, cancer, and aging, including the development of a simple and inexpensive test for mutagens.
  • Don Anderson, geophysicist, California Institute of Technology, for advancing understanding of the composition, structure, and dynamics of Earth and Earth-like planets.
  • John Bahcall, astrophysicist, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, for pioneering work in neutrino astrophysics and his contributions to the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • John Cahn, materials scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology, for influencing three generations of materials scientists, solid-state physicists, and mathematicians.
  • Cathleen Morawetz, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, for pioneering advances in partial differential equations and wave propagation.
  • Janet Rowley, geneticist, University of Chicago, for revolutionizing cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment through the discovery of chromosomal translocations and her work on chromosome abnormalities.
  • Eli Ruckenstein, chemical engineer, State University of New York, Buffalo, for pioneering theories and experiments in colloidal and surface phenomena, catalysts, and advanced materials.
  • George Whitesides, chemist, Harvard University, for breakthroughs in transition metal chemistry, heterogeneous reactions, organic surface chemistry, and enzyme-mediated synthesis.
  • William Julius Wilson, sociologist, Harvard University, for interdisciplinary research on the forces that cause and perpetuate inner-city poverty.

The National Medals of Technology, administered by the Department of Commerce, go to:

  • Denton Cooley, surgeon-in-chief and president, Texas Heart Institute, for 6 decades of cardiovascular surgery, including the first successful U.S. human heart transplant and first bridge implantation of an artificial heart.
  • Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, computer scientists, Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs, for the invention of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language.
  • Robert Fraley, Robert Horsch, Ernest Jaworski, and Stephen Rogers, Monsanto Co., for pioneering achievements in plant biology and agricultural biotechnology, including genetically modified crops.
  • Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for applying biological breakthroughs to pharmaceutical products for underserved patient populations, including the development of recombinant DNA hepatitis B vaccines.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, for innovative pharmaceutical research and groundbreaking work on clinical trials.