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Three from MIT win top U.S. science, technology honors


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Three distinguished members of the MIT community - President Emeritus Charles M. Vest, pioneering biomedical engineer Robert S. Langer and groundbreaking atomic physicist Daniel Kleppner - have been awarded the nation’s highest technology and science honors.

The White House announced Monday that President George W. Bush will present the National Medal of Technology to Vest, who served as MIT’s president from 1990 to 2004, at a ceremony on Friday, July 27 in Washington. Langer and Kleppner will receive the National Medal of Science at the same ceremony.

Vest joins four current or former engineers and inventors from MIT who have won the National Medal of Technology, while Langer and Kleppner bring to 47 the number of MIT scientists to win the National Medal of Science.

“MIT is extraordinarily proud that three esteemed members of our community have been selected for this prestigious honor,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield said. “They have made enormous contributions to MIT, to our nation and to science.”

The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 to honor individuals “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences.” In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences.

The National Medal of Technology was created in 1980 “to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, and to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the nation’s technological workforce.”


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