The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 29, 2008

President Bush Presents 2007 National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation
East Room

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10:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome. This is a joyous day for the White House as we honor some of our nation's most gifted and visionary men and women. I congratulate you all on your achievements. I'm looking forward to presenting you with the National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation. And I welcome your friends, but most importantly, I welcome your family members. We are glad you're here and thank you for standing by these -- by the side of these pioneers and doers and achievers.

President George W. Bush delivers remarks Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, prior to the presentation of the 2007 National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation in the East Room of the White House. Said the President, "This is a joyous day for the White House as we honor some of our nation's most gifted and visionary men and women. I congratulate you all on your achievements."  White House photo by Eric Draper I want to thank members of the administration who've joined us, particularly Deputy Secretary John Sullivan; Dr. Arden Bement, Director of the National Science Foundation. I welcome the chairs and members of the 2007 and 2008 nominating committees. These recipients welcome you, as well. (Laughter.) They appreciate your good judgment. (Laughter.) And I welcome the previous medal recipients who are here. But most of all, thank you all for coming.

You know, it's very interesting that we're having this in the East Room. It turns out that Thomas Jefferson reportedly used this room as a place to lay out his fossils. (Laughter.) Three hundred fossils and bones were catalogued right here in the East Room, including a tusk of nearly 10 feet -- Barney has been looking for that tusk for a long time. (Laughter.)

Our history is rich with pioneers and innovators who have used their God-given talents to improve our nation. After all, it was Benjamin Franklin who invented the bifocals, and you will see his picture hanging here in the White House; or Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone.

Creative men and women are building on the foundation laid by those geniuses, and the same thing is going to happen in the future with the foundation laid by these geniuses. I mean, after all, Franklin's bifocals are giving way to LASIK surgery -- (laughter) -- and Alexander Graham Bell's telephone plays MP3s. (Laughter.)

We're proud to honor a new generation of people who have strived for excellence; people whose discoveries have changed America and the world. I mean, that's what we're here to honor: discovery and hard work and creative minds.

The men and women we honor here hold more than 100 patents. They are the leaders in business and industry. They public -- publish influential books. They chair academic departments in some of our country's finest universities. Our honorees have made breakthroughs in the range of -- in a range of fields, including polymer chemistry, neurobiology, condensed matter physics -- all a little esoteric for a history major, I might add. (Laughter.)

Each of our honorees has extended the frontiers of knowledge, and in so doing they've inspired a wave of innovation. We're an innovative society, and one of the main reasons why is we got very capable people who are willing to use their talents to push for new innovations. The work has helped inspire new medicines to treat diseases, strengthen security in Americans' airports, build new jet engines. They have helped create a global marketplace through a single phrase, "Find it on eBay." (Laughter.)

Each of these folks up here has earned the appreciation of our country. And one way to express our appreciation is to present a medal, and that's what we're doing.

I do want to thank the members of our academic community for helping youngsters understand the importance of math and science and engineering. Today we've got students from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Banneker Academic High Schools. And I know that some of the recipients here took time out to inspire, and I hope scientists and mathematicians and engineers all across the country will serve as mentors and role models to encourage young folks to take a serious interest in academics -- in the academic of engineering and physics and sciences and biology, so that some day another American President will be able to hang a medal around their neck.

All in all, this is an important day for our country because it reminds people that innovation and science are important for our future, and that good education is important for that future, as well. I want to thank you all again for your many contributions to our nation. I want to thank you all for coming to witness this important ceremony.

And now I ask the military aide to read the citations.

MILITARY AIDE: Fay Ajzenberg-Selove. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Fay Ajzenberg-Selove for her pioneering contributions in nuclear physics that have advanced research into many applications, including energy generation from fusion, dating of artifacts, and nuclear medicine, her passion for teaching and her outstanding service to her profession.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Mostofa El-Sayed. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Mostofa El-Sayed for his seminal contributions to our understanding of the electronic and optical properties of nano-materials, and of their applications in nano-catalysis and nano-medicine; his humanitarian efforts in promoting the exchange of ideas; and his role in developing the scientific leadership of tomorrow.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Leonard Kleinrock. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Leonard Kleinrock for his fundamental contributions to the mathematical theory of modern data networks, and for the functional specification of packet switching, which is the foundation of Internet technology. His mentoring of generations of students has led to the commercialization of technologies that have transformed the world.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Robert J. Leftkowitz. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Robert J. Leftkowitz for his discovery of the seven transmembrane receptors, deemed the largest, most versatile and most therapeutically accessible receptor signaling system, and for describing the general mechanism of their regulation influencing all fields of medical practice.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Bert W. O'Malley. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Bert W. O'Malley for his pioneering work on the molecular mechanisms of steroid hormone action and hormone receptors and coactivators, which has had a profound impact on our knowledge of steroid hormones in normal development, and in diseases, including cancer.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Charles P. Slichter. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Charles P. Slichter for establishing nuclear magnetic resonance as a powerful tool to reveal the fundamental molecular properties of liquids and solids. His inspired teaching has led generations of physicists and chemists to develop a host of modern technologies in condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Andrew J. Viterbi. The 2007 National Medal of Science to Andrew J. Viterbi for his development of the maximum-likelihood algorithm for convolutional coding, known as the "Viterbi algorithm," and for his contributions to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless technology that transformed the theory and practice of digital communications.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: David J. Wineland. The 2007 National Medal of Science to David J. Wineland for his leadership in developing the science of laser cooling and manipulation of ions, with applications in precise measurements and standards, quantum computing, and fundamental tests of quantum mechanics; his major impact on the international scientific community through the training of scientists; and his outstanding publications.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Paul Baran. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Paul Baran for the invention and development of the fundamental architecture for packet-switched communication networks, which provided a paradigm shift from the circuit-switched communication networks of the past, and later was used to build the ARPANET and the Internet.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Roscoe O. Brady. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Roscoe O. Brady, for his discovery of the enzymatic defects and hereditary metabolic disorders such as Gaucher disease, Neimann-Pick disease, Fabry disease and Tay-Sachs disease, devising widely used genetic counseling procedures and the development of highly effective enzyme replacement therapy that provided the foundation of patient treatment; and for stimulating the creation of and fostering the success of many biotechnology companies that produce the therapeutics for the treatment of these diseases.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: David N. Cutler. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to David N. Cutler for having designed and implemented standards for real-time, personal, and server-based operating systems, carrying these projects from conception through design, engineering, and production for Digital Equipment Corporation's RSX-11 and VAX/VMS, and for the Microsoft's Windows NT-based computer operating systems; and for his fundamental contributions to computer architecture, compilers, operating systems, and software engineering. (Applause.)

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Armand V. Feigenbaum. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Armand V. Feigenbaum for his leadership in the development of the economic relationship of quality costs, productivity improvement, and profitability, and for his pioneering application of economics, general systems theory and technology, statistical methods, and management principles that define The Total Quality Management approach for achieving performance excellence and global competitiveness. (Applause.)

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Adam Heller. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Adam Heller for his fundamental contributions to electrochemistry and bioelectric chemistry, and the subsequent application of those fundamentals in the development of technological products that improved the quality of life across the globe, most notably in the area of human health and well-being.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Carlton Grant Willson. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Carlton Grant Willson for the creation of novel lithographic imaging materials and techniques that have enabled the manufacturing of smaller, faster, and more efficient microelectronic components that have improved the competitiveness of U.S. microelectronics industry.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Accepting for eBay, John Donahoe. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to eBay Incorporated for pioneering the technology that encouraged and supported online trade, enabling global entrepreneurship and the growth of the Internet worldwide.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE: Accepting for Skunk Works, Frank Cappuccio. The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Skunk Works for an exceptional 65-year record of developing cutting-edge aircraft, technologies, and systems solutions for the U.S. government, including development of unique advanced aircraft technologies critical to the national defense, and for the introduction of operational "stealth" capability that has changed the landscape of U.S. war-fighting capabilities.

(The medal is presented.) (Applause.)

END 10:19 A.M. EDT


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