Luna Leopold receives Franklin Institute Award
The 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal for Earth and Environmental Science
March 3, 2006
On March 1st, the Franklin Institute named eight preeminent scientists across six scientific disciplines as the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal laureates.
Dr. Luna Leopold, who died last month at the age of 90, was awarded posthumously the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal for Earth and Environmental Science. M. Gordon Wolman, of Johns Hopkins University was also awarded this honor for their contributions "for advancing our understanding of how natural and human activities influence landscapes, especially for the first comprehensive explanation of why rivers have different forms and how floodplains develop." Their contributions form the basis of modern water resource management and environmental assessment, said the Franklin Institute.
The Franklin Institute Awards program has been in existence since 1824. Past Franklin Institute laureates include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie and Pierre Curie, Jacques Cousteau, Orville Wright and Jane Goodall. The 2006 awards take special significance in this, the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin.
In a rigorous screening process which can take up to four years, the 60-member Committee on Science and the Arts selects those men and women whose great innovations have benefited humanity, advanced science generally, launched new fields of inquiry, and deepened our understanding of the universe.
The 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal for chemistry goes to Samuel J. Danishefsky of Columbia University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; for civil engineering to Ray W. Clough of the University of California, Berkeley; for computer and cognitive science to Donald A. Norman of Northwestern University and the Nielsen Norman Group; for earth and environmental science to the late Luna B. Leopold of The University of California, Berkeley and M. Gordon Wolman of Johns Hopkins University; for life science to Fernando Nottebohm of The Rockefeller University; for physics to Giacinto Scoles of Princeton University and the International School for Advanced Studies; and J. Peter Toennies of The University of California, Berkeley, The Max-Planck-Institute and The University of Göttingen.
The 2006 Bower Award for Achievement in Science goes to electrical engineer, Narain G. Hingorani. Entrepreneur Ted Turner was named recipient of the 2006 Bower Award for Business Leadership.
"These exceptional scientists continue the 182-year-old-legacy of extraordinary achievement in science and technology," said Dennis M. Wint, CEO of the Franklin Institute, one of the nation’s preeminent centers of science education and development. "Whether by ensuring sustainable and secure electrical power systems, treating disease, protecting our natural resources, or impacting our lives in some other way, each laureate has made some far reaching contribution to the well being of humankind. Through their remarkable achievements, they honor the legacy of Benjamin Franklin and inspire the Franklins of tomorrow."
Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of America’s oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the country. Today, the Institute continues its dedication to public education and creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. Recognizing outstanding achievements in science throughout the world is one important way that the Institute honors its commitment to Franklin’s legacy.
The 2006 Benjamin Franklin Awards
2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth & Environmental Sciences