President Obama Welcomes America’s Nine New Nobel Laureates to the White House

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President Barack Obama talks with 2013 American Nobel Laureates and their spouses in the Oval Office, Nov. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today in the Oval Office, President Obama met with nine of the Nation’s foremost innovators, creative thinkers, and builders of the future—the American recipients of 2013 Nobel Prizes in natural sciences and economics. The President was joined in the meeting by OSTP Director John P. Holdren, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Jason Furman, Ambassador Björn Lyrvall of Sweden, Ambassador Kåre Aas of Norway; and a number of the Nobel Laureates’ family members.

The nine newly minted laureates embody the spirit of ingenuity and discovery that have long made America great—and they exemplify the tremendous advancements that can be achieved when research, skill, and study in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math are applied to address real-world challenges. The American prize-winners have illuminated scientists’ understanding of how cells operate in the brain; enabled the simulation and modeling of complex sub-atomic-scale chemical reactions; and reshaped the way economists understand market prices and “bubbles.”

During the meeting, President Obama underscored the importance of basic STEM research to America’s global competitiveness and to maintaining our Nation’s place at the leading edge of discovery and innovation. He emphasized the critical role that Federal funding plays in supporting the foundational research that underpins Nobel-worthy discoveries, and—noting that some of the 2013 American Laureates are proud immigrants—discussed with the winners the importance of making America a magnet for more STEM-skilled innovators, who come to our shores, create jobs, and enable breakthrough discoveries. 

Following their meeting with President Obama the Laureates and distinguished guests were welcomed to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a congratulatory reception hosted by CEA Chair Furman and OSTP Director Holdren.

In remarks at the reception, Dr. Holdren reiterated the President’s comments from earlier in the day, saying:

“Today’s celebration is a great reminder of the value of these public investments in science and innovation and the incredible results they make possible.”

OSTP warmly congratulates the 2013 American Nobel Prize winners and applauds the commitment of these incredible individuals to maintaining America's leadership in medicine, chemistry, and economics.

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President Barack Obama points out several patent models while meeting with the 2013 American Nobel Laureates and their spouses in the Oval Office, Nov. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Sharing the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: James Rothman, Randy Schekman, and Thomas Südhof. Sharing the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel. The 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics is shared by Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller.

To learn more about the 2013 Nobel Prizes, please visit:

Becky Fried is a Communications & Policy Analyst at OSTP

Connor Schmidt is a Student Volunteer on the OSTP Communications Team

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