Lucy Shapiro, a biology professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, and Sidney Drell, professor emeritus at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, were honored by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House today as recipients of “America’s Nobel Prize”: the National Medal of Science. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, inventors and engineers.
“This is the most [significant] collection of brainpower we’ve had under this room in a long time,” Obama said in his prepared remarks, delivered in the East Room. “Maybe since the last time we gave out these medals.”
Drell, CISAC’s founding science co-director, was recognized for his research applying the principles of quantum physics to public policy and national security.
Shapiro, who established an entirely new field using microorganisms to approach developmental biology research questions, was recognized for her “pioneering discovery.”
“The incredible contributions that you’ve made have enhanced our lives in immeasurable ways,” Obama said at the ceremony’s conclusion.