Esther Conwell Wins National Medal of Science

The long-time Academy member is among 16 scientists honored today by President Obama.

Published October 15, 2010

Esther Conwell, a research professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences since 1994, is among the 10 eminent researchers named today by President Obama as recipients of the National Medal of Science.

The President also named three individuals and one team as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medals are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” President Obama said. “Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity, and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions.”

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in, and contributions to, the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences, as well as chemistry, engineering, computing, and mathematics.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation is an outgrowth of a 1980 statute and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and have helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees are selected by a distinguished independent committee representing both the private and public sectors.

As part of the President’s continuing commitment to encouraging excellence in science and math in young people, the White House also announced this morning that it will host the 2010 White House Science Fair on Monday, October 18th to celebrate the winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math competitions.

The complete list of recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation is listed here.