Nominations Open for National Medal of Science or National Medal of Technology

Last month, during the second White House Science Fair, White House guest Bill Nye the Science Guy, who also serves as CEO of the Planetary Society, commented on the many successful corporations—including Amazon, Apple, Boeing, Ford, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Pay-Pal, and now Facebook—were started by engineers, people who use science and math to create things and solve problems.  He said that for the United States to remain the world leader in technological innovation, we need more engineers and more scientists.  We need more people who can do math, design software, and create new applications for machines that have yet to be invented. 

Bill’s comments reflected a theme that has been voiced repeatedly by  President Obama: We need more scientists tackling challenges and running experiments that expand the reach of human understanding. As he said at the Science Fair: “When you work and study and excel at what you’re doing in math and science, when you compete in something like this, you’re not just trying to win a prize today.  You’re getting America in shape to win the future.  You’re making sure we have the best, smartest, most skilled workers in the world, so that the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root right here.”

Of course, today’s young scientists and engineers are building on the foundation laid by others before them. Do you know of an American scientist, engineer, or inventor who has helped lay that foundation—who made a major mark on the Nation and perhaps the world? Consider nominating them for National Medal of Science or National Medal of Technology and Innovation before March 31.  These awards are the highest honors the President bestows in science, technology, and innovation.

Established in 1959, the National Medal of Science is awarded to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the chemical, physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral or social sciences, in combination with exemplary service to the Nation.  To submit a nomination which consists of a nomination form and three letters of support, visit National Science Foundation’s website at  For additional information, visit

First awarded in 1985, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is awarded to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions for their outstanding contributions to the Nation’s economic, environmental, and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technology products, processes, and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation’s technological workforce. To submit a nomination which consists of a nomination form and six letters of support, email the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at For additional information, visit

The National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation are one of the ways the White House recognizes scientist, engineers, and inventors for their contributions to the Nation.  Help us identify great scientists, engineers, and inventors of today who serve as inspiration for our brilliant minds of tomorrow. 

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