2000 National Medal of Science Recipients

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Nancy C. Andreasen, Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, for her pivotal contributions to the social and behavioral sciences, through the integrative study of mind, brain, and behavior, by joining behavioral science with the technologies of neuroscience and neuroimaging in order to understand mental processes such as memory and creativity, and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Peter H. Raven, Director of Missouri Botanical Garden and Engelmann Professor of Botany, Washington University, for his contributions to the dynamics of plant systematics and evolution, the introduction of the concept of coevolution, and his major contribution to the international efforts to preserve biodiversity.

Carl R. Woese, Stanley O. Ikenberry Professor of Microbiology, University of Illinois, for his brilliant and original insights, through molecular studies of RNA sequences, into the history of life on Earth.

John D. Baldeschwieler, J. Stanley Johnson Professor and Professor of Chemistry, California Institution of Technology, for his imaginative development of new methods for determining the properties, structures, motions, and interactions of molecules and molecular assemblies, the translation of these advances into practical pharmaceutical and instrumentation products for the public benefit, and extensive service to his government and the scientific community.

Ralph F. Hirschmann, Rao Makineni Professor of Bio-organic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, for his seminal contributions to organic and to medicinal chemistry including the synthesis in solution of an enzyme (ribonuclease), his stimulation of peptide research in the pharmaceutical industry, and for his leadership role in fostering interdisciplinary research in academia and in industry, which led to the discovery of several widely prescribed medications for human and animal health.

Gary S. Becker, Professor of Economics and Sociology, University of Chicago, for his pioneering work in the economic analysis of racial discrimination, inventing the economics of human resources, producing major modern innovations in economic demography and in economic criminology, and leading recent developments in how social forces shape individual economic behavior.

Yuan-Cheng B. Fung, Professor Emeritus and Research Bioengineer, University of California at San Diego, for his pioneering research and leadership in the fields of bioengineering and aeroelasticity. He also founded the study of biomechanics, especially of the lungs and arteries.

Willis E. Lamb, Jr., Regents Professor, University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, for his towering contributions to classical and quantum optics, and to the proper interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Provost and Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University, for his bold astrophysical insights, which have revolutionized concepts of the nature of pulsars, the ecosystem of stars and gas in our galaxy, the sizes and masses of galaxies, the nature and distribution of dark matter and ordinary matter in the universe, and the formation of galaxies and other cosmological structures.

Gilbert F. White, Gustavson Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography, University of Colorado, Institute of Behavioral Science, for outstanding leadership and scientific contributions to geography and other earth and environmental sciences, and for helping shape cooperative efforts to assess the nation's floodplain, water use, and natural disaster policies for more than five decades.

John Griggs Thompson, Graduate Research Professor of Mathematics, University of Florida, for his profound and lasting contributions to the mathematical sciences, providing fundamental advances for the study of finite simple groups, the inverse Galois problem, and connections between group theory and number theory.

Karen K. Uhlenbeck, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin, for her many pioneering contributions to global geometry that resulted in advances in mathematical physics and the theory of partial differential equations.

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