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Obama to honor innovators with local ties today

Rochester Business Journal
November 17, 2010

President Barack Obama is slated today to honor the 2009 recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation—including three with local ties—in an awards ceremony at the White House.

Among those to receive the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors are Esther Conwell, Steven Sasson  and Marcian  Hoff Jr.

Conwell, a professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, earned her master's degree in physics at UR and spent roughly half of her nearly five-decade career as an industrial scientist at Xerox Corp.

Now retired, Sasson was employed from the mid-1970s as an Eastman Kodak Co. researcher.

And Hoff, honored for his work with two fellow researchers at Intel Corp., was born in the Rochester area and spent summers during college at General Railway Signal Corp.

Obama will honor 10 eminent researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science, and three individuals and one team as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.

“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” Obama said in a statement.  “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 recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today. The ceremony will be carried live by satellite feed and webcast on the White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

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.

To see the complete list of recipients, visit click here.

(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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