Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: February 6, 1967

37
Remarks Upon Presenting the National Medal of Science Awards for 1966.
February 6, 1967

Dr. Hornig, distinguished Medal of Science award winners, Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Congress, distinguished ladies and gentlemen:

The discoverer Isaac Newton once wrote that he felt like "a boy playing on the seashore," while "the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

Today, we have come here to the East Room to honor 11 men whose lifelong purpose has been to explore the great ocean of truth. Their achievements—and the work of other scientists—have lengthened man’s life, have eased his days, and have enriched our treasury of wisdom.

For nearly two centuries, America has been a lighthouse of democratic government in the world.

But we have also stood for other things. First, we have been an example of the power of science and technology to transform man’s life.

The steamship, the telephone, the Salk vaccine, the splitting of the atom, our steady climb to the moon and the stars—all of these developments in our land have excited the entire world, and have changed it forever.

Today, our enormous investment in science and research is our evidence of our faith that science can not only make man richer—but science can make man better.

Second, and more important, America stands for the unfettered pursuit of knowledge.

Scientific research in our Nation is heavily financed by our Government.

I believe that government must guard freedom of inquiry—and extend it. The voyage of our scientists should be to make new discoveries—not just to confirm old dogmas.

In the famous poem, Ulysses pledges "To follow knowledge, like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bounds of human thought."

That goal is the goal of these scientists_ that goal is the goal of American science.

So gentlemen, I am greatly honored to make this year’s awards of the National Medal of Science.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:44 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. His opening words referred to Dr. Donald F. Hornig, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology.

The National Medal of Science, established by Congress in 1959 (73 Stat. 431), is awarded to outstanding scientists on the basis of recommendations by the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science under the chairmanship of Dr. H. E. Carter of the University of Illinois. The 1966 recipients and their citations are listed below:

Biological sciences: Edward Fred Knipling, Director, Entomology Research Divisions, U.S. Department of Agriculture, "For outstanding original contributions involving unique biological approaches to the control of insect vectors responsible for diseases of humans, domesticated animals, and plants"; Fritz Albert Lipmann, professor of biochemistry, Rockefeller University, "For original discoveries of molecular mechanisms for the transfer and transformation of energy in living cells, and for fundamental contributions to the conceptual structure of modern biochemistry"; William Cumming Rose, professor of chemistry, emeritus, University of Illinois, "For the discovery of the essential amino acid threonlne and for the subsequent brilliant studies elucidating the qualitative and quantitative amino acid requirements of man and of animals"; Sewall Wright, professor of genetics, emeritus, University of Wisconsin, "For original and sustained contributions to the mathematical foundations of the theory of evolution and for basic contributions to experimental and biometrical genetics."

Engineering sciences: Claude Elwood Shannon, Donner professor of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "For brilliant contributions to the mathematical theories of communications and information processing and for his early and continuing impact on the development of these disciplines"; Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, honorary vice president, Radio Corporation of America, "For major contributions to the instruments of science, engineering and television, and for his stimulation of the application of engineering to medicine."

Mathematical sciences: John Willard Milnor, professor of mathematics, Princeton University, "For clever and ingenious approaches in topology which have solved long outstanding problems and opened new exciting areas in this active branch of mathematics."

Physical sciences: Jacob Aall Bonnevie Bjerknes, professor of meteorology, University of California, Los Angeles, "By watching and studying maps he discovered the cyclone-making waves of the air and the climate-controlling changes of the sea"; Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, professor of theoretical astrophysics, University of Chicago, "For numerous superb contributions to stellar astronomy, physics, and applied mathematics, and for his guidance and inspiration to his many students and colleagues"; Henry Eyring, dean, Graduate School (retired), University of Utah, "For contributions to our understanding of the structure and properties of matter, especially for his creation of absolute rate theory, one of the sharpest tools in the study of rates of chemical reaction"; and John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Harvard University, "For his many contributions to the development of the theory of molecular structure and for his profound influence, through original contributions and through many brilliant students, on the theory of the magnetic and dielectric properties of materials."

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "37 Remarks Upon Presenting the National Medal of Science Awards for 1966.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196 Original Sources, accessed February 24, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8TRL9DX66LQS1MS.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "37 Remarks Upon Presenting the National Medal of Science Awards for 1966." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196, Original Sources. 24 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8TRL9DX66LQS1MS.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '37 Remarks Upon Presenting the National Medal of Science Awards for 1966.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196. Original Sources, retrieved 24 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8TRL9DX66LQS1MS.