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News Release 05-082

NSB Announces Recipients of the 2005 Vannevar Bush and Public Service Awards

Individuals, organizations honored for outstanding contributions

NSB Vannevar Bush Award Medal

NSB Vannevar Bush Award Medal

May 18, 2005

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Board (NSB) has announced that Robert W. Galvin, the retired president and CEO of Motorola Inc., will receive the 2005 Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime contributions to the nation in science and technology. Veteran science journalist Ira Flatow and the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) will recieve this year's NSB Public Service Awards. NSB will honor the awardees at a dinner ceremony on May 25 at the Department of State.

NSB is the 24-member policy-making body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advises the president and Congress on matters of U.S. science and engineering. Each year, they present the Vannevar Bush Award to an individual who, through public service activities in science and technology, has made an outstanding "contribution toward the welfare of mankind and the Nation."

This year's recipient clearly fits those criteria. A longtime executive in the high-technology industry, Galvin is known for visionary leadership and efforts to enhance U.S. innovation, competitiveness and excellence in all sectors--including research and education. He has served on numerous government advisory committees and boards, including panels that have issued timely studies bearing on the future of U.S. science and technology. His knowledge and counsel are also widely sought in industry and academia.

During his 60-year association with Motorola Inc., Galvin helped transform the company into a global leader in high- technology commercial and industrial electronics. Under his guidance, Motorola developed semiconductor technology for applications in computer-controlled two-way radio communications for public safety, national defense and space exploration. The company has since become a leader in paging and cellular phone technologies.

Galvin believes that continuing education is key to maintaining America's technological workforce and is dedicated to developing human capital. While at Motorola, he pioneered a training and education program for all employees and established the company's New Enterprises organization--an entrepreneurial "greenhouse" that helps keep workers at the cutting edge of technology.

In the 1990's, Galvin served on two panels that produced important reports for the federal science and technology policy community. In 1992, he co-chaired the Special Commission on the Future of the National Science Foundation. The 15-member panel explored ways for NSF to enhance its unique role as the nation's major supporter of science research and education, while strengthening ties between academic science and industry. In 1994, Galvin chaired the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board Task Force on Alternative Futures for the Department of Energy's national laboratories. The committee presented specific recommendations for directing the scientific and engineering resources of those institutions towards national needs.

Galvin has received many honors for his achievements and public service. He is a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Universities Research Association, Inc., the 90-member consortium that manages the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Galvin is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and continues to serve as a member of the Presidents' Circle of the National Academies.

The NSB established the Vannevar Bush Award in 1980, to honor Bush's unique contributions to public service. As science advisor to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bush recommended that a government entity be formed to encourage federal support of scientific research, education and technology. His report, Science, The Endless Frontier, lead to the creation of NSF in 1950, under president Harry S. Truman. The recipient of the Vannevar Bush award receives a commemorative bronze medal struck in Bush's likeness.

With the annual Public Service Awards, NSB recognizes Flatow and CRA-W for their respective individual and organizational efforts to increase the public understanding of science or engineering. Those awards were established in 1996.

Veteran science correspondent and award-winning journalist Flatow brings radio listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment through his weekly program Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, which airs on National Public Radio. Flatow is also a founder and president of TalkingScience, a non-profit company dedicated to creating radio, TV and Internet projects that make science "user friendly." He says the challenge is "to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table."

Flatow's numerous television credits include six years as a host and television writer for the Emmy-award-winning Newton's Apple on PBS and being a science reporter for CBS This Morning and cable's CNBC. He has discussed science on many TV talk shows, including Merv Griffin, Today, Charlie Rose and Oprah. Flatow has also written articles for a variety of magazines ranging from Woman's Day to ESPN Magazine to American Lawyer. His most recent book, They all Laughed...From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions followed on the heels of Rainbows, Curve Balls and Other Wonders of the Natural World Explained.

Among his many honors, Flatow received the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Journalism Award (2000) and the Carl Sagan Award (1999).

The Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) will receive this year's organizational Public Service Award. CRA-W has been committed to public service since 1991, serving close to 1,000 students and faculty members through programs aimed at increasing the participation of women in computing research.

CRA-W's efforts fall into four categories: community building, research mentoring, information sharing and effecting organizational change. Their highly successful programs foster professional networking, collaboration and recognition of women in computing.

CRA-W supports a number of innovative projects such as:

  • career mentoring workshops that connect junior female faculty members with established women mentors in their academic fields
  • a mentoring project that encourages promising female undergraduates to consider graduate school enrollment by matching them with mentors for summer research projects
  • the Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program which strives to increase the numbers female and minority graduate students by providing research opportunities for teams of undergraduates at their home institutions.

More information about the NSB and its awards can be found at


Media Contacts
Nicole Mahoney, NSF, (703) 292-5321, email:

Program Contacts
Susan Fannoney, National Science Board, (703) 292-4518, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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