1998 National Medal of Science Recipients

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Bruce N. Ames, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, for changing the direction of basic and applied research on mutation, cancer, and aging. His simple, inexpensive test for environmental and natural mutagens identified causes and effects of oxidative DNA damage, and he translated these findings into intelligible public policy recommendations on diet and cancer risk for the American people.

Don L. Anderson, Professor of Geophysics at the California Institute of Technology Seismological Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for advancing the understanding of the composition, structure, and dynamics of Earth and Earth-like planets, and for his national and international influence on the advancement of earth sciences over the past three decades.

John N. Bahcall, Professor of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., for his pioneering efforts in neutrino astrophysics and his contributions to the development and planning of the Hubble Space Telescope.

John W. Cahn, Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., for his profound influence on the course of materials and mathematics research, and his enormous contributions to three generations of materials scientists, solid-state physicists, and mathematicians.

Cathleen S. Morawetz, Professor Emerita at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, N.Y., for pioneering advances in partial differential equations and wave propagation resulting in application to aerodynamics, acoustics, and optics.

Janet D. Rowley, Professor at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., for revolutionizing cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment through her discovery of chromosomal translocations in cancer, and for her pioneering work on the relationship of prior treatment to recurring chromosome abnormalities.

Eli Ruckenstein, Professor of Chemical Engineering, State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y., for his world-class pioneering theories and experimental achievements in colloidal and surface phenomena, catalysts, and advanced materials.

George M. Whitesides, Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., for his innovative and far-ranging research in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and material science that has brought breakthroughs to transition metal chemistry, heterogeneous reactions, organic surface chemistry, and enzyme-mediated synthesis.

William Julius Wilson, Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., for his pioneering methods of interdisciplinary social science research that have advanced understanding of the interaction between the macroeconomic, social structural, cultural, and behavioral forces that cause and reproduce inner-city poverty.

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