The National Medal of Science, established in 1959, is the Nation’s highest honor for American scientists and egineers. The Presidential Award is given to individuals deemed deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral sciences. It is administered by the National Science Foundation and, to date, has been awarded to 458 individuals. An independent twelve-member presidentially-appointed committee of scientists and engineers reviews nominations and makes its recommendations to the President, who selects the laureates.
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation, first awarded in 1985, is the highest honor awarded by the White House for technological achievement. The Medal is given to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions for their outstanding contributions to the Nation’s economic, environmental, and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technology products, processes, and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation’s technological manpower. An independent committee representing both private and public sectors evaluates the merits of all candidates nominated through an open, competitive solicitation process. The Committee forwards its recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce, who makes recommendations to the President for final decision.
To nominate someone for the National Medal of Science, please visit the National Science Foundation. For the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, please visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.