African American Physicists to Receive Presidential Awards

Dr. S. James Gates

Dr. George Carruthers

By Hattie Carwell Dr. James Gates will receive the National Science Award, and Dr. George Carruthers will receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation – among the highest honors conferred upon scientists and engineers by the federal government The newly named recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony next year. “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,” said President Obama. Gates is an American theoretical physicist, known for work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory .  He is currently John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and was formerly President of the National Society of Black Physicists. Dr. Carruthers was the principal scientist responsible for the development of the ultra-violet camera that made the trip to the moon aboard Apollo 16 in 1972. The camera was designed to study the earth’s upper atmosphere, interplanetary and interstellar space, stars, and galaxies by making observations of light in the far-ultraviolet. Later versions of the camera have flown on Skylab 4, two space shuttle flights, and the ARGOS satellite. Carruthers was editor of the Journal of the National Technical Association. Both recipients have lectured in Oakland.  In 2003, Gates lectured at McClymonds High School as a participant in a lecture series sponsored by the Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village. In 2009, Dr. Carruthers was the featured speaker for premier of the film, “Hubble’s Diverse Universe,” held at MAAT Science Village. President Obama named 12 researchers for the National Medal of Science and 11 inventors as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation., according to a  Dec. 17 White House statement.
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