|NIH director Dr. Francis Collins (l) accepts medal from President Barack Obama at the White House.
President Barack Obama on Sept. 17 named nine eminent researchers, including NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, as recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists. The honorees received their awards Oct. 7 at a White House ceremony.
“These scientists, engineers and inventors are national icons, embodying the very best of American ingenuity and inspiring a new generation of thinkers and innovators,” Obama said. “Their extraordinary achievements strengthen our nation every day—not just intellectually and technologically but also economically, by helping create new industries and opportunities that others before them could never have imagined.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “I applaud President Obama’s selection of our National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins as one of this year’s recipients of the National Medal of Science. As director of the NIH, Dr. Collins is continuing the work that has defined his career: pushing the boundaries of science and finding new ways to translate these discoveries into real improvements in people’s lives.”
She continued, “Dr. Collins epitomizes this administration’s commitment to science. The National Medal of Science is the nation’s highest honor of its kind. I congratulate Dr. Collins for this well-deserved honor and am grateful for his service at the NIH where he is overseeing our efforts to make new strides in biomedical research and apply this research to help all Americans live longer, healthier, richer lives.”
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.