Announcing THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE Awards

Natural History, April 2005 | Go to article overview

Announcing THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE Awards


Dating back to 1824, The Franklin Institute Awards Program seeks to provide public recognition and encouragement of excellence in science and technology. Since 1874, recipients have been selected by the Institute's Committee on Science and the Arts. Today, fields recognized include Chemistry, Computer and Cognitive Science, Earth and Environmental Science, Engineering, Life Science, and Physics. In 1998, the Awards Program was reorganized under the umbrella of The Benjamin Franklin Medals. The list of medal winners reads like a "Who's Who" in the history of 19th, 20th, and 21st century science. The honor roll includes: Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, Rudolf Diesel, Thomas Edison, Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking-to name a few. To date, 101 Franklin Institute Laureates also have been honored with 103 Nobel Prizes.

The newest awards, the Bower Award for Business Leadership and the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, are made possible by a $7.5 million bequest in 1988 from Henry Bower, a Philadelphia chemical manufacturer. The Bower Science Award carries a cash prize of $250,000, one of the richest science prizes in America. The Awards Ceremony is April 21, 2005 in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. More information on the Awards Program can be found at www.fi.edu/tfi_awards.

2005 FRANKLIN INSTITUTE LAUREATES

Bower Award and Prize for Science Achievement

HENRI B. KAGAN, PH.D.

Université Paris-Sud

Orsay, France

For his seminal discovery of fundamental chemical principles that explain the impact of catalyst shape on its effectiveness in controlling chemical reactions, thus greatly simplifying the manufacture of pharmaceutically important compounds.

Dr. Kagan studied at the Sorbonne in Paris before receiving his Ph.D. from the College of France in 1960. After a nearly 40-year career at the Université Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, he now serves as an emeritus professor. His career has spanned the world, and he continues to be an active visiting lecturer, author, and enthusiastic mentor to young chemists.

Bower Award for Business Leadership

ALEJANDRO ZAFFARONI, PH.D.

ALZA Corporation, Mountain View, CA

Alexza MDC, Mountain View, CA

For the creation, through a combination of scientific creativity and entrepreneurial insight and drive, has created new biochemical processes, drug delivery technologies-most significantly, the birth control pill, transdermal patches, and once-a-day pills-and biomedical industries. He has leveraged his business suecesses so that he is broadly respected as a philanthropist and technical leader.

Dr. Zaffaroni received his B.Sc. in 1941 from the University of Montevideo, Uruguay, and his Ph.D. in 1949 from the University of Rochester. He began his career at Syntex, a small pharmaceutical business in Mexico, which he helped transform into a major company headquartered in the U.S. He eventually became president of Syntex Laboratories and Syntex Research Institute. Since then, Dr. Zaffaroni has founded or co-founded nine companies-ALZA, DNAX, Affymax, Affymetrix, Symyx, Maxygen, SurroMed, Perlegen Sciences, and Alexza.

Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science

ARAVIND K. JOSHI, PH.D.

University of Pennsylvania,

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For his fundamental contributions to our understanding of how language is represented in the mind, and for developing techniques that enable computers to process efficiently the wide range of human languages. These advances have led to new methods for computer translation.

After receiving his B.E. in electrical and mechanical engineering from Pune University and his D.I.I.Sc. in communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, both in his home country of India, Dr. Joshi began a fruitful academic career in the United States. …

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