Women in Nanoscience


Women in Nano Blog

New Year Medal of Science winners

Posted on January 1, 2016 at 6:10 PM

President Obama recently announced the latest recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. These are the U.S.'s highest honors for achievement in science and technology. They will receive their medals at the White House early in 2016.

Obama said: "Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our Nation's biggest challenges. The knowledge produced by these Americans today will carry our country's legacy of innovation forward and continue to help countless others around the world. Their work is a testament to American ingenuity."


There were three women among the nine Medal of Science winners: Shirley Ann Jackson (RPI), Mary-Claire King (Univ. of Wash.) and Geraldine Richmond (U. Oregan). One of the eight Medal of Technology and Innovation winners is a woman Nancy Ho (Green Tech America Inc.; Purdue).


Shirley Ann Jackson is a physicist and President of RPI. She has performed an impressive list of service for the U.S. including leading the National Regulatory Commission, Advisory Boards for the Departments of State and Energy and the GAO. Mary-Claire King is a human geneticist who studies the effect of environmental factors on diseases like cancer. In 1984, King began working with Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo) in identifying children stolen from their families and adopted illegally under the military dictatorship in Argentina. Geraldine Richmond is a physical chemist and a recent appointee to the Dept. of State as a science envoy. She is currently the President of the AAAS.


Nancy Ho is a chemical engineer by training who has made her mark on cellulosic ethanol production as a biomass-based energy source. She created an engineered yeast capable of making ethanol from straw.


While none of these wonderful role models are nanoscientists, WiN is excited to celebrate their achievements.


We are also happy to note that a superb nanoscientist, Paul Alivisatos, was awarded the National Medal of Science. Alivisatos is the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the founder of two nanoscience-based companies, and the recipient of many prestigious awards for his work in nanoscience.

- Written by Paulette Clancy

Categories: WINnews

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