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Lyndon B. Johnson: Remarks Upon Presenting the 1967 National Medal of Science Awards
Lyndon
Lyndon B. Johnson
71 - Remarks Upon Presenting the 1967 National Medal of Science Awards
February 13, 1968
Public Papers of the Presidents
Lyndon B. Johnson<br>1968-69: Book I
Lyndon B. Johnson
1968-69: Book I
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Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Cabinet, Member of the Congress, Dr. Hornig, most distinguished guests:

Once again, America honors a dozen distinguished men of science.

Their achievements inspire us to consider not only what science has done for us, but to consider what remains for it to do.

We have asked much of our scientists. In return, we have provided considerable support to scientific endeavor.

In the current fiscal year, the Federal Government is spending $18 billion on scientific research and development, and assistance to science education.

For the coming year, we must make a Government-wide effort to reduce expenditures. So we have not been able to allot as much as we would like for fellowships for our basic research.

I begrudge every economy and every necessity of today that limits our support of science--even momentarily. Although our spending for science is vast in comparison with earlier days, I want it to be larger still. For science has a big job to do.

In 8 years, America will enter its third century. Science and technology enable us to look forward to an age that will further enlighten our lives, ease our labors, and exalt our civilization.

But there are other, grimmer forecasts. Wise men worry about a world that is unable to feed itself--about a society that is smothered in smog--about the coming of a "silent spring."

These flaws in our environment are not the fault of science alone. Their more immediate causes lie in the growth of technology, in industry, and, of course, urbanization.

But an aggrieved public does not draw the fine line between "good" science and "bad" technology. The passenger in the jet credits science with the miracle of flight. But when he is on the ground, he is just as quick to blame science--for the traffic jam at the airport, or for the noise of the jets overhead.

You and I know that Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster. But it would be well to remember that the people of the village, angered by the monster, marched against the doctor.

In a democratic society, the public attitude toward science must always be a real concern of the scientific community. If that attitude is to be favorable, science must be prepared to play its part in correcting the flaws in our environment.

This is not a task for science alone, but for us all, for every citizen in the land and for every scientist as well.

There is a universe of problems to be mastered so our world can be made more livable for our children.

The stature of the scientists we honor today gives me great confidence that science will do its part.

We have come here to the East Room for this very pleasant occasion. And I am quite pleased to be a participant in bestowing the 1967 awards of the National Medal of Science.

Thank all of you for coming here and honoring us with your presence.


Note: The President spoke at 12:42 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States, John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dr. Donald F. Hornig, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology, who introduced the award winners and read the citations, which follow:

Jesse W. Beams, professor of physics, University of Virginia, "For sustained and ingenious contributions to the scientific development of high-speed centrifuges, a family of devices that are now widely applied in the physical and biological sciences, in medicine, and in engineering scale isotope-separation."

Francis Birch, professor of geological sciences, Harvard University, "For outstanding contributions to geophysics which have immeasurably increased our understanding of the composition and the processes of the interior of the earth."

Gregory Breit, professor of physics, Yale University, "For pioneering contributions to the theoretical understanding of nuclear structure and particle dynamics, for highly significant work in atomic and ionospheric physics and for the inspiration he has given to several generations of American physicists."

Paul J. Cohen, professor of mathematics, Stanford University, "For epoch-making results in mathematical logic which have enlivened and broadened investigations in the foundation of mathematics."

Kenneth S. Cole, senior research biophysicist, National Institutes of Health, and visiting professor of biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, "For highly original experimental and theoretical investigations of the electrical properties of biological membranes that have led to a deep understanding of the functioning of nerves."

Harry F. Harlow, professor of psychology, University of Wisconsin, "For original and ingenious contributions to comparative and experimental psychology, particularly in the controlled study of learning and motivations, the determinants of animal behavior, and development of affectional behavior."

Louis P. Hammett, retired professor of chemistry, Columbia University, "For his joining together Physical and organic chemistry, creating new concepts, and replacing intuition by rigor in our growing understanding of chemical reactivity."

Michael Heidelberger, professor of immunochemistry, New York University, "For placing the science of immunology on a quantitative chemical basis, and for showing its power to reveal the structure of molecules found in the living organism."

George B. Kistiakowsky, professor of chemistry, Harvard University, "For contributions to physical chemistry, particularly to the understanding of reaction rates, and for statesmanship in the evolution of relationships between science and public affairs."

Edwin H. Land, president, Polaroid Corp., "For many discoveries and inventions in the field of polarized light, rapid photography, including quick processing of the final photograph, for the development of a unique theory of color vision, and for contributions to national defense."

Igor I. Sikorsky, retired engineering manager, Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corp., "For pioneering in the development of multi-engined aircraft, both land and sea planes, and for developing the helicopter as a useful and important device of aerial transportation."

Alfred H. Sturtevant, professor of biology, emeritus, California Institute of Technology, "For a long and distinguished career in genetics during which he discovered and interpreted a number of important genetic phenomena in Drosophila and other organisms."

The National Medal of Science, the Federal Government's highest award for distinguished achievement in science, mathematics, and engineering, was established in 1959 by the 86th Congress.

The awards were made by the President on the basis of recommendations from the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science, chaired by Dr. Bryce L. Crawford of the University of Minnesota. A White House release of December 30, 1967, listing the recipients and giving further details of their scientific achievements, is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 4, p. 11).


Citation: Lyndon B. Johnson: "Remarks Upon Presenting the 1967 National Medal of Science Awards," February 13, 1968. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29369.
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