Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute has announced its prestigious awards, the Benjamin Franklin Medals and the Bower Awards for significant achievements in science and business leadership, for 2008.
The Franklin Medal has been awarded for 184 years, longer than the Nobel Prize, and its recipients have included many of the greatest names in international science and technology.
This year’s recipients and their fields are the following. (In an exercise of blogger’s privilege, many of the links below are to my books or book reviews relevant to the work for which the award was earned.)
* Bower Award for Business Leadership, Frederick W. Smith, founder of FEDEX
Benjamin Franklin Medals:
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry, Albert Eschenmoser, Dr.sc.nat., from Switzerland, who synthesized vitamin B12 in 1972, and who did significant work on the structure of DNA and RNA
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, Judea Pearl, Ph.D., artificial intelligence expert.
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science, Wallace S. Broecker, Ph.D., climate-change scientist known for his research on how ocean currents affect climate and how polar ice cap melting could alter them.
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering, Arun G. Phadke, Ph.D. and James S. Thorp, Ph.D., whose development of computerized relays to diagnose problems in the power grid has reduced electric blackouts and protected power stations from serious damage.
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, Victor R. Ambros, Ph.D., David Baulcombe, Ph.D., and Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D., who worked th role of short strands of RNA in silencing genes.
* Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics (more), Deborah S. Jin, Ph.D., whose pioneering work has shed light on the macroscopic manifestations of the quantum mechanical properties of fermionic gases that occur at ultracold temperatures.
The awardees will deliver lectures and will be celebrated during a rich week of events at the Franklin in Philadelphia, PA, Tuesday-Friday, April 15-18, 2008.