Two Black Scientists Selected for National Technology Award

James Gates and George Carruthers are among the 12 scientists selected by the Obama administration for a White House technology award.

Posted: 12/28/2012 05:42 PM EST

Two African-American scientists have been named as part of a group that will receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Award by the Obama Administration, the White House announced.

Among the 12 recipients are James Gates, a physicist at the University of Maryland, and George Carruthers, an inventor, physicist, space scientist and professor at Howard University.

“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” President Obama said, in a statement.

“They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great — and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”

Gates has become well known for his work on supergravity and supersymmetry and is a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and technology. He has been featured on the PBS program NOVA and other shows on physics.

Carruthers is a prolific inventor, having developed a camera that was used in the Space Shuttle Mission. He invented the first moon-based observatory, which was used in the Apollo 16 mission. He also made the first examination of molecular hydrogen in space. He served as editor of the Journal of the National Technical Association.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce.

The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony in early 2013.

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(Photos from left: Courtesy of University of Maryland, WikiCommons)

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