The team of IBM scientists – James J. Wynne, Rangaswamy Srinivasan and (the late) Samuel Blum – were given the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for their discovery in connection with a new form of laser surgery. It is used in LASIK and PRK refractive eye surgery, IBM explained in a statement.
All together, President Obama honored 12 winners of the National Medal of Science and 11 winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
The National Medal of Science was approved by Congress in 1959. It honors those for knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, or the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation began in 1980, news reports said. The award recognizes contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and strengthening of the technological workforce.
“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” President Obama said in a recent statement. “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this nation great—and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”
National Medal of Science Winners include:
Allen Bard, University of Texas at Austin, Tex.
Sallie Chisholm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mass.
Sidney Drell, Stanford University, Calif.
Sandra Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland, MD
Solomon Golomb, University of Southern California, Calif.
John Goodenough, University of Texas at Austin, Tex.
M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri, MO
Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, WA
Barry Mazur, Harvard University, MA
Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University Schoo.l of Medicine, Calif.
Anne Treisman, Princeton University, N.J
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Winners include:
Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology, Calif.
George Carruthers, U.S. Naval Research Lab, D.C.
Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mass.
Norman McCombs, AirSep Corporation, N.Y.
Gholam Peyman, Arizona Retinal Specialists, AZ
Art Rosenfeld, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Calif.
Jan Vilcek, NYU Langone Medical Center, N.Y.
Recently, Obama also highlighted the need to encourage more students to enter the fields of math, science, engineering and technology.
“In a global economy where the best jobs follow talent -- whether in Calcutta or Cleveland -- we need to do everything we can to encourage that same kind of passion, make it easier for more young people to blaze a new trail,” Obama said in a statement. “Right now, only about a third of undergraduate students are graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math -- areas that will be crucial if we expect to complete the work that has been done by these folks and compete for the jobs of the future. And that’s why we’ve worked to make more affordable college opportunities, and set a goal of training 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade. And we’re working to train 2 million Americans at our community colleges with the skills businesses are looking for right now.”