Press Release 04-057
NSB 2004 Vannevar Bush, Public Service Awards, Span Research, Scholarship, Science Communication and Policy
April 26, 2004
ARLINGTON, Va.- In a career that spans a half-century, the name
Mary L. Good has been synonymous with interdisciplinary research,
contributions to science, education, and science and technology
policy - uniquely and successfully woven throughout a career that
has included positions in academia, government and industry.
The National Science Board (NSB) has named Good to receive the
2004 Vannevar Bush Award for her life-long contributions to
science, engineering and technology, and for leadership
throughout her multi-faceted career. The NSB is the 24-member
policy body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advises
the president and Congress on matters of U.S. science and
The NSB has also recognized neurologist Oliver W. Sacks and the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their respective individual and
organizational contributions to increase public understanding of
science or engineering by selecting them for the NSB's annual
Public Service Awards. Those awards were established in 1996.
All awards will be presented at the NSB's annual awards dinner on
May 3 in Washington, D.C.
The Bush Award was established in 1980 to commemorate NSF's
30th anniversary. The award is named for Vannevar Bush, a prominent
science advisor to several presidents. Bush focused post-World War II
national science policy in his book, Science: The Endless Frontier,
considered the catalyst for the creation of the National Science Foundation.
Good, who currently serves as Dean of the Donaghey College of
Information Science and Systems Engineering at the University of
Arkansas, Little Rock, just a few years ago "went home" to
Arkansas after decades of pursuits that took her to other parts
of the country. She received her master's and doctoral degrees
from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. But her career
led first to Louisiana, where she stayed for almost a quarter-
century as a chemistry professor at both Louisiana State
University and the University of New Orleans. She was appointed
the Boyd Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at LSU
before she joined private industry in 1980.
Good's 12 years in the private sector included key positions at
UOP Inc., in Des Plaines, Ill., and at Allied Signal in N.J.,
were she became Allied Signal's senior vice president of
After successful stints in academia and the private sector, Good
was appointed Under Secretary, Technology Administration at the
U.S. Department of Commerce. While there, she was credited with
mitigating or removing many regulatory barriers to enhance the
position of the United States in global markets. She also used
her experience in private and academic organizations to formulate
policies that colleagues said improved U.S. innovation and
productivity and also helped shape the nation's economy during
the growth of the Information Age.
Good was a member of the National Science Board for 12 years
under presidents Carter and Reagan, and served as its chair from
1988-91. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering,
a past president of the American Chemical Society, and has served
on numerous government advisory panels.
"The many recognitions Mary Good has received for her
contributions to the nation's scientific capability attest to the
significance of her work," said John White, current NSB member
and Chancellor, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
White was NSF's assistant director for engineering when Good
chaired the National Science Board. "I observed first-hand her
obvious dedication and firm commitment to the nation and to
science, not to mention the support she provided the National
Science Foundation," White added.
Meanwhile, neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks, will receive the
NSB Public Service Award for his work to increase awareness and
understanding of the processes of science through his books and
Through his close observations of people with various
neurological conditions, and how they adapt and live creatively
with their conditions, Sacks has influenced how modern medicine
sees the working of the human brain and mind. His books have been
best sellers around the world and are used widely at universities
in courses on medicine, neuroscience, writing, ethics, philosophy
In 1966, Sacks encountered an extraordinary group of patients,
many of whom had spent decades in strange, frozen states, unable
to communicate or to initiate movement. He recognized the
patients as survivors of the 1916-1927 sleepy sickness pandemic.
He treated them with a then-experimental drug, L-dopa, which
enabled them to "come back to life." They became the subjects of
his second book, Awakenings (1973), which later inspired a play
(A Kind of Alaska) by Harold Pinter and the Oscar-nominated
Hollywood movie, Awakenings.
Sacks is perhaps best known for his 1985 collection of case
histories, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, in which he
describes patients struggling to live with conditions ranging
from Tourette's Syndrome to autism, musical hallucination,
phantom limb syndrome, schizophrenia, retardation and Alzheimer's
disease, among others.
In addition to his many honors, Sacks received an honorary
doctorate (in medicine) from the Karolinska Institute in
Stockholm, Sweden. He regularly contributes to The New Yorker,
the New York Review of Books and various medical journals.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will receive the Public Service
Award honoring an organization. Sloan has reached tens of millions of
people through its support of an extensive list of books, plays,
films, radio and television shows and Internet programs. The
foundation, established in 1934 and named for the former General
Motors chairman, creates, manages and produces in-house programs
in addition to supporting talented individuals, groups and
organizations to make science and technology accessible and
relevant to daily life.
The Sloan Foundation book program has supported biographies and
works about controversial or pressing scientific issues,
including Dava Sobel's Galileo's Daughter. Sobel received the
NSB Public Service Award in 2001.
Sloan's support of public television programming produced
numerous documentaries about the role of technology in society,
many based on the Sloan Technology Book Series. It has
contributed to programs such as The Elegant Universe, WGBH-TV's
The American Experience, and shows about women and minorities in
Sloan has supported major National Public Radio news programs,
such as Science Friday, as well as technology coverage on Public
Radio International's The World and segments on CBS's The Osgood
Sloan has teamed with leading developmental theaters,
commissioning dozens of new plays about science and technology.
It also supported such acclaimed plays as Copenhagen, Proof and
Sloan has partnered with top film schools, national and
international film festivals, and leading Hollywood and
independent producers to develop film and television shows
featuring scientists and engineers.
These programs have positioned Sloan as a media giant for
science, engineering and technology, and helped reveal to the
public the humanness at the heart of the scientific process and
NSF PR04-57 (NSB04-74)
For more information on the awardees, see:
http://www.eng.yale.edu/sheff/good.html (Mary Good)
http://www.oliversacks.com/aboutpages/aboutfrm.htm (Oliver Sacks)
http://www.sloan.org/main.shtml (Sloan Foundation)
Bill Noxon, NSF, (703) 292-7750, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Fannoney, NSF, (703) 292-8096, email@example.com
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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