Richard L. Garwin, the Council’s Science and Technology Director, to Receive National Medal of Science

October 22, 2003 12:16 pm (EST)

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October 22, 2003 - The Council’s Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow and Director in Science and Technology Richard L. Garwin will receive a National Medal of Science, the White House announced today. The presidential medal is the highest honor for researchers who make major impact in the fields of science and engineering through career-long, ground-breaking achievements. Garwin will receive the medal in part for his work on magnetic resonance techniques that are key to today’s magnetic resonance imaging technology.

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Also a military technology innovator, Garwin laid the foundation for technologies in superconducting electronic circuitry and has studied and long championed the use of non-lethal weapons in combat. Garwin is a top adviser to the nation’s leadership in a wide range of scientific issues, safety of nuclear weapons and arms control. “Dick Garwin is a national resource. He possesses a truly original, creative intellect wrapped inside a caring humanist. It is wonderful that his lifetime contributions be recognized with this award,” said Council President Richard N. Haass.

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The other honorees are biologists James E. Darnell of Rockefeller University, and Evelyn M. Witkin of Rutgers University; engineer Leo L. Beranek of Cambridge; mathematician James G. Glimm of Stony Brook University; chemist John I. Brauman of Stanford University; and in geology and physics, W. Jason Morgan of Princeton University and Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

“The ideas and breakthroughs in fundamental science and engineering by these extraordinary pioneers have influenced thousands of other researchers,” said National Science Foundation Director Rita Colwell. “These amazing people represent overall close to four centuries worth of experience in research, teaching and leadership inside their fields and extending across many other disciplines as well.”

Garwin is an internationally renowned physicist with expertise in intelligence and on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and defenses. In addition to his Council duties, he is an IBM Fellow Emeritus for the IBM Research Division and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Columbia University. From 1994 to 2001 he was also chair of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board at the Department of State.

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Garwin received the Enrico Fermi Award of the President and the Department of Energy (1996) and the R.V. Jones Intelligence Award of the U.S. Government Foreign Intelligence Community (1996). He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

Garwin’s extensive publications include Megawatts and Megatons: The Future of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons, (2003); Megawatts and Megatons: A Turning Point for the Nuclear Age? (2001); Control of Nuclear Arms at Crossroads (2000); A Defense That Will Not Defend (2000); Boost-Phase Intercept: A Better Alternative (2000); The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy (1997); Feux Follets et Champignons Nucléaires(1997); Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium (1994); The Future of the U.S.Soviet Nuclear Relationship (1991). Many of his papers and speeches may be found at

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The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences.” In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. A Committee of 12 scientists and engineers is appointed by the President to evaluate the nominees for this Award. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 386 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that members, students, interested citizens, and government officials in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.

Contact: Marie X. Strauss, Communications, (212) 434-9536


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