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Biden Presents National Science and Technology Medals

OCT 30, 2023
Will Thomas
Spencer R. Weart Director of Research in History, Policy, and Culture
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A National Medal of Science.

(The White House)

At a White House ceremony on Oct. 24, President Joe Biden awarded the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to 21 recipients.

Among the winners of the science medal were physicist and former LIGO Director Barry Barish, materials scientist and former National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh, and University of California, Berkeley fluid-dynamics researcher Ashok Gadjil. City College of New York condensed-matter physicist Myriam Sarachik was awarded the medal posthumously.

Winners of the technology medal included 3D-printing inventor Chuck Hull, telecommunications engineer and former Bell Labs President Jeong Kim, and optical coherence tomography inventors James Fujimoto, Eric Swanson, and David Huang.

The president has historically awarded the medals annually based on a nomination process that runs through NSF and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, this is the first time that either medal has been awarded since 2014.

Another prestigious national science and technology award, the Enrico Fermi Presidential Award, was given last March following its own similarly long hiatus. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest civilian honor, has not been awarded for scientific or technological achievement since 2016.

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