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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Fox National Honor
By Ioana Patringenaru

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox went to the White House to receive the highest honor the United States bestows on its scientists: the National Medal of Science

"To all the honorees, you have truly revolutionized the world in ways that are profoundly important to people in their day-to-day lives, but also helped to create those steps in human progress that make us who we are as human beings," President Barack Obama said during the White House ceremony.

 

On November 17, 2010, UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox stepped onto the stage at the White House along with nine other recipients to receive the highest honor the U.S. government bestows on the nation's scientists: the National Medal of Science. Fox, a chemist, was recognized for her contributions in the fields of solar energy conservation, material science and environmental chemistry.

"To all the honorees, you have truly revolutionized the world in ways that are profoundly important to people in their day-to-day lives, but also helped to create those steps in human progress that make us who we are as human beings," President Barack Obama said during the White House ceremony. "We could not be prouder of you. We could not be more grateful."

The key to America's success lies in developing new products and fostering scientific innovation, Obama said. He pledged to restore science to its rightful place and strengthen the nation's commitment to science. Government, working hand-in-hand with businesses and universities, must foster a climate of innovation, he added. Obama said he hoped the award recipients would inspire young men and women to become scientists.

"It's a great honor to receive this prestigious recognition, and I am humbled and proud that the contributions made by my research group have advanced organic chemistry," Fox said in a statement. "I was fortunate to have had brilliant and hardworking graduate students who focused on fundamental principles that were later translated into practical use in solar energy conversion, environmental remediation and material science. I truly believe that important developments in science and science education are vital for the future of this nation."

Fox, a nationally recognized chemist and academic leader, was named the seventh chancellor of UC San Diego in April 2004. Previously, Fox was chancellor and distinguished professor of chemistry at North Carolina State University, a post she held since 1998. Before going to North Carolina, Fox spent 22 years at the University of Texas, where she advanced from assistant professor of organic chemistry to vice president for research and held the Waggoner Regents Chair in chemistry.

Her other awards include the Garvan Award from the American Chemical Society, the Southwest Regional Award and the 2005 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, in recognition of outstanding public service.