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MIT trio to receive top U.S. science, technology honors


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - President George W. Bush will present the nation’s highest science and technology honors Friday to MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest, pioneering biomedical engineer Robert S. Langer and groundbreaking atomic physicist Daniel Kleppner.

Vest, who served as MIT’s president from 1990 to 2004, is due to receive the National Medal of Technology at a White House ceremony scheduled to begin at 1:40 p.m. Langer and Kleppner will receive the National Medal of Science at the same ceremony.

Vest’s award brings to three the number of current, emeritus or deceased MIT faculty who have won the National Medal of Technology, while Langer and Kleppner’s honors bring to 27 the number of current, emeritus or deceased MIT faculty who have won 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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