Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Franklin Institute Honors the 'Best of the Best' in Science and Technology

Trailblazers in Science, Business and Technology Participate in Week-Long Series of Educational Activities for Students and Community
NBC's Robert Bazell Hosts Awards Ceremony Featuring T. Boone Pickens and Other Luminaries

Philadelphia, PA - February 18, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, April 23 NBC News' Robert Bazell will host a gala evening at The Franklin Institute celebrating the extraordinary contributions of eight preeminent trailblazers in science, business and technology. Six Benjamin Franklin Medals will be bestowed at The Franklin Institute Awards black-tie ceremony and dinner, with visionary T. Boone Pickens receiving the Bower Award for Business Leadership and Dr. Sandra M. Faber receiving the $250,000 Bower Award for Achievement in Science. Dr. Faber, whose achievements are in the area of cosmology, is being awarded her prize during the International Year of Astronomy and right after the kick-off of The Franklin's Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibition. The awards event, considered one of the preeminent social events in Philadelphia, crowns a week-long series of activities aimed at education and outreach, utilizing the individual laureates, to bring science to the community.

Dating back to 1824, The Franklin Institute Awards have been awarded to Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Marie and Pierre Curie, Orville Wright and Jane Goodall, among many others. In fact, many Franklin Institute Award winners have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize. The contributions of this year's medalists range from significant advances in domestic renewable energy, to the creation of methods to radically improve our understanding of medical images.
The 2009 Franklin Institute Laureates

* T. Boone Pickens, BP Capital
Bower Award for Business Leadership
* Sandra M. Faber, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
* George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., Harvard University
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry
* Ruzena Bajcsy, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science
* J. Frederick Grassle, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science
* Lotfi A. Zadeh, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
* Richard J. Robbins, The Robbins Group LLC
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering
* Stephen J. Benkovic, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science

Beginning Tuesday, April 21, each laureate will take part in a seminar or lecture focusing on their area of expertise at various universities throughout the city and at the Institute. The culmination of this exciting week is the Awards Ceremony and Dinner, which takes place on Thursday, April 23 at The Franklin Institute. The highlight of this elegant black-tie event is the presentation of the medals to the laureates. Programs like The Franklin Institute Awards, that inspire a passion for learning about science and technology, are made possible by its generous partners. Bank of America has been a dedicated community partner and Franklin Institute supporter since 2003. Cephalon, Inc. is the Awards Week Sponsor and Associate Sponsor of the Awards Ceremony and Dinner. Additional Associate Sponsors include Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

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