Public Release: 

Leading women and minority scientists to be honored

Mayor proclaims November 30 'Science & the City' Day

New York Academy of Sciences

Five leading women and minority scientists will be honored for their contributions to science on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at the Second Annual "Science & the City" celebration sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences.

The scientists to be cited include a Nobel Laureate who did her prize-winning work in New York City, the CEO and president of a biotech company and a nonprofit research institute, and two African-American pharmaceutical executives. They will be the guests of honor at a gala Academy dinner, "Celebrating Diversity in Science: Supporting Women and Underrepresented Minorities," to be held at Cipriani 42nd Street, Manhattan.

In recognition of the occasion, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued a proclamation designating November 30 as "Science & the City/Diversity in Science" Day.

Recipients of this year's awards are:

  • Linda Buck, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Associate Director, Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H., President, Product Development, Genentech
  • Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, Ph.D., President and Director, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)
  • Cecil B. Pickett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Schering-Plough Corporation; President, Schering-Plough Research Institute
  • Bradley T. Sheares, Ph.D., President, U.S. Human Health Division, Merck & Co., Inc.

"In the heart of the world's most diverse city, it is particularly fitting that we are celebrating the accomplishments of an illustrious roster of researchers and executives in the world of science who prove the value of diversity in science," said Ellis Rubinstein, President of the New York Academy of Sciences. "To be competitive, American science--and the American economy-- increasingly require the participation of the widest range of our best and bright young people, and these awardees are role models for students everywhere."

Rubinstein noted that two new Academy programs, the Women Investigators Network (WIN) and the Network for Minority Investigators (NMI), are also being highlighted as part of "Science & the City" Day. WIN facilitates communication and exchange among students and leading women scientists from academia and industry in order to accelerate the pace of career advancement for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NMI enables scientists from varying backgrounds, disciplines, industries, levels of experience, and career paths to come together to discuss important issues that impact their employment and scientific decisions whether in the lab, office, or classroom.

Student Winners

Also being recognized as part of the evening's festivities are three New York City students who were the first winners of The Laureates of Tomorrow-NOBEL ESSAY CONTEST, a competition administered by the Academy in partnership with the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and official website of the Nobel Foundation. Launched in the 2004-05 academic year, the contest required participants to submit an essay examining the impact on science and society of major scientific achievements by Nobel Prize recipients.

The students also had to prove to leading scientists--including nine Nobel Laureates--that they could articulate their understanding of the scientific principles behind the achievements they selected. This year's winners, who will receive a free trip to Sweden to attend the Nobel Prize lectures, ceremony, and banquet on December 10, are:

  • Alina Fradlis, Staten Island Technical HS, for her essay in chemistry, "Paul Berg: Redefining Our World Through Genetics."
  • Jedtsada Laucharoen, Horace Mann School, The Bronx, for his essay in physics, "Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and the Liquefaction of Helium."
  • Michael Vishnevetsky, Midwood HS, Brooklyn, for his essay, "Günter Blobel: Pioneer in Protein Targeting Within/out of the Cell."

Gala Chairs

Honorary Chair for the 2005 Academy Gala is Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York. The Gala Chairs are Len Blavatnik, Chairman, Access Industries; Richard T. Clark, President and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.; William T. Golden, Life Governor and Honorary Life Member, New York Academy of Sciences; Fred Hassan, Chairman and CEO, Schering-Plough Corporation; Karen Katen, Vice Chairman, Pfizer Inc., and President, Pfizer Human Health; Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate and President, Rockefeller University; Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General; John Sexton, President, New York University; and Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Chairman, New York Academy of Sciences Board of Governors.

Co-chairs for the Gala are Jeremiah A. Barondess, President, New York Academy of Medicine; Karen E. Burke, Governor, New York Academy of Sciences; Maria Freire, President and CEO, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development; Alan Friedman, Director and CEO, New York Hall of Science; Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor, City University of New York; Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director and CEO, American Chemical Society; Rochelle Lazarus, Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather; Joel Marcus, CEO, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; John F. Niblack, Vice Chairman, Pfizer Inc; President, Pfizer Global R& D (Ret.); Stelios Papadopoulos, Vice Chairman, SG Cowen & Co., LLC; Jennifer Raab, President, Hunter College of CUNY; Michael Sohlman, Executive Director, The Nobel Foundation; and Herbert Wachtell, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Kars.


Founded in 1817, the New York Academy of Science is a worldwide nonprofit organization committed to building communities and advancing science.

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