2012 Franklin Institute Laureates Announced
Nine individuals, all pioneers in their fields and largely unknown, until now, to the general public, will be honored for their enormous discoveries and achievements in science, technology and business during the annual Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Through their remarkable accomplishments, these individuals have positively impacted the quality of human life and deepened our understanding of the universe.
Seven Benjamin Franklin Medals and two Bower Awards will be bestowed in April at the gala ceremony and dinner at The Franklin Institute, including the first husband/wife team since the Curies in 1909. Dr. Louis E. Brus will receive the $250,000 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, recognizing his outstanding work in the field of Nanochemistry, and John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer, Cisco Systems will be presented with the Bower Award for Business Leadership, for his guidance over the past 16 years at the helm of the company. CBS Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood will again serve as host of the black-tie event.
The rich tradition of The Franklin Institute Awards dates back to 1824. These prestigious, international awards have been bestowed upon such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Marie and Pierre Curie, Orville Wright, Jane Goodall, and more recently Bill Gates.
The 2012 Franklin Institute Laureates
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc. | San Jose, California
Bower Award for Business Leadership
For shaping Cisco Systems into one of the world’s most widely respected and successful technology companies, providing business and consumer technologies that allow millions of people to connect to each other through computer networking and the Internet, and for his leadership by example in corporate responsibility and personal philanthropy.
Louis E. Brus, Ph.D., Columbia University | New York, New York
Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science | Nanochemistry
For his seminal discoveries and scientific leadership, which have made semiconductor nanocrystals, their synthesis, characterization and theory, a cornerstone of modern chemistry.
Lonnie G. Thompson, Ph.D
Ellen Stone Mosley-Thompson, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University | Columbus, Ohio
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science
For their collective studies of ice cores from around the world, which have improved the understanding of Earth’s climate history, including the role of the tropics in global climate change.
Vladimir Vapnik, Ph.D., NEC Laboratories | Princeton, New Jersey
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science
For his fundamental contributions to our understanding of machine learning, which allows computers to classify new data based on statistical models derived from earlier examples, and for his invention of widely-used machine learning techniques.
Jerry Nelson, Ph.D., UC Observatories/Lick Observatory
University of California, Santa Cruz | Santa Cruz, California
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
For his pioneering contributions to the development of segmented-mirror telescopes.
Sean B. Carroll, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison | Madison, Wisconsin
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science
For proposing and demonstrating that the diversity and multiplicity of animal life is largely due to the different ways that the same genes are regulated rather than to mutation of the genes themselves.
Zvi Hashin, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University | Tel Aviv, Israel
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering
For groundbreaking contributions to the accurate analysis of composite materials, which have enabled practical engineering designs of lightweight composite structures, commonly used today in aerospace, marine, automotive and civil infrastructure.
Rashid Sunyaev, D.Sc., Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Garching, Germany
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics
For his monumental contributions to understanding the early universe and the properties of black holes.
The 2012 Franklin Institute Awards Week activities coincide with the second Philadelphia Science Festival, a community-wide celebration of science that features lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages. Throughout Awards Week, many past Franklin Institute Awards Laureates will return to Philadelphia, joining most of the 2012 Laureates in a variety of public science festivities leading up to the Awards Ceremony. The 2012 Laureates will take part in a seminar or lecture focusing on their specific area of expertise at various universities throughout the city. These free events provide a rare opportunity to meet, mingle with and “pick the brains” of some of the most exceptional minds in the world.
The culmination of Awards Week is The Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony and Dinner. The highlight of this elegant event, which has sold-out for the past several years, is the presentation of the medals to the Laureates. Programs like The Franklin Institute Awards, which inspire a passion for learning about science and technology, are made possible by its generous partners. Bank of America celebrates its 10th anniversary as Lead Supporter of the Awards Ceremony and Dinner this year. Awards Week activities, which include Meet the Scientists, Laureates’ Laboratory, and Laureates’ symposia, are generously sponsored by Mrs. Frank Baldino, Jr., who is also an Associate Sponsor of the Awards Ceremony and Dinner.