APS News

Physicists Honored with National Medals

Nation's highest science and technology honors announced

December 31, 2015

Several prominent physicists are among the newest recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, announced by the White House on December 22. The awards are the U.S. government's highest scientific and technological honors, and are conferred by the president. In addition to physics, the 17 awardees come from the biological, social, and medical sciences, and from chemistry, engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

Several APS Fellows were recipients of the medals. Physicists awarded the National Medal of Science include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist who has served prominent roles in U.S. government, including as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Armand Paul Alivisatos, a professor in the departments of materials science and chemistry at Berkeley; and chemical physicist Geraldine Richmond of the University of Oregon, who is the 2015 president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. All three are APS Fellows. Another APS Fellow, Arthur Gossard of the University of California, Santa Barbara, was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The full lists of awardees are:

National Medal of Science
Image: nsf.gov

National Medal of Science
  • Armand Paul Alivisatos, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Michael Artin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Albert Bandura, Stanford University
  • Stanley Falkow, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rakesh K. Jain, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mary-Claire King, University of Washington
  • Simon Levin, Princeton University
  • Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon


National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Image: uspto.gov

National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Joseph DeSimone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Carbon3D
  • Robert Fischell, University of Maryland at College Park
  • Arthur Gossard, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Nancy Ho, Green Tech America, Inc. and Purdue University
  • Chenming Hu, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mark Humayun, University of Southern California
  • Cato T. Laurencin, University of Connecticut
  • Jonathan Rothberg, 4catalyzer Corporation and Yale School of Medicine