University of Rochester

EVENT: University of Rochester's Esther Conwell to Receive National Medal of Science

October 15, 2010

WHO: University President Joel Seligman, Professor Esther Conwell, Provost Ralph Kuncl

TIME, DATE, PLACE: 4pm, Friday, October 15, 2010; Admissions first floor conference room, Wallis Hall

WHAT: Announcement that President Obama names Professor Esther Conwell a recipient of the National Medal of Science.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE: Esther M. Conwell, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rochester, has been chosen by President Obama to receive a National Medal of Science.

Professor Conwell helped launch the computer revolution by explaining how electrons travel through semiconductors. Her research earned her membership in both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, two of the highest honors a scientist or engineer can receive.

The National Medal of Science was established by Congress in 1959 and is awarded by the President to recognize "outstanding contributions to knowledge" in the sciences.

Her academic and professional careers began at a time when women were rarely seen in science classrooms and laboratories. Conwell is considered a pioneer in creating opportunities for women in science classrooms and professional laboratories.

Discover magazine in 2002 named Esther Conwell one of the 50 all-time most important women in science.

A committee of 12 scientists and engineers, appointed by the President, nominates individuals for the National Medal of Science. The final decisions are made by the President.

Conwell's honor represents the first Medal of Science award for a University of Rochester faculty member.