The National Science Board (NSB) announced March 26 that Baker Institute senior science and technology policy fellow Neal Lane, a former science adviser to President Clinton and former National Science Foundation (NSF) director, is the 2013 recipient of its Vannevar Bush Award.
The award is presented annually to exceptional, lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service activities in science, technology and public policy.
It was established in 1980 in memory of Vannevar Bush, who served as science adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II, helped to establish federal funding for science and engineering as a national priority during peacetime and was behind the creation of the NSF.
Lane was the NSF director from October 1993 to August 1998. "Among the hallmarks of Neal's NSF directorship was the recognition that scientists must be an integral part of, rather than standing apart from, the civic life of our nation and have the willingness to be a vocal advocate for their position," said Dan E. Arvizu, NSB chairman. "He spoke publicly and wrote widely about the need for researchers to engage in a dialogue with the broader public, the majority of whom seldom have any interaction with scientists, about the centrality of science--and engineering and mathematics--to the functioning of modern society.
"As Neal once wrote in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Yearbook, citing Einstein as a prior advocate of the position he was espousing, 'While there is great need for the public to have a better understanding of science, and we should promote this in every way possible, there is as great a need for scientists to have a better understanding of the public.'"
Read more about Lane's distinguished career and the Vannevar Bush Award at the National Science Foundation website.