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UCSD Chancellor Earns National Medal of Science for Solar Energy Research

It isnt that often that you hear of a university chancellor receiving one of the United States governments highest honors, but thats just what happene...

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|Nov 18|magazine6 min read

It isn’t that often that you hear of a university chancellor receiving one of the United States government’s highest honors, but that’s just what happened this year when University of California, San Diego Chancellor and scientist Marye Anne Fox earned the National Medal of Science. She is among 10 researchers to receive this prestigious honor, all of whom received this red, white and blue medal from the President today.

According to the press statement from the White House, Fox was honored “for her research contributions in the areas of organic photochemistry and electrochemistry and for enhancing our understanding of excited-state and charge-transfer processes with interdisciplinary applications in material science, solar energy conversion, and environmental chemistry.” She is joined by Wakir Aharonov of Chapman University; Stephen Benkovic of Pennsylvania State University; Esther Conwell of University of Rochester; Susan Lindquist of Whitehead Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mortimer Mishkin of National Institutes of Health; David Mumford of Brown; Warren Washington of National Center for Atmospheric Research; Stanley Prusiner of the University of California, San Francisco and Amnon Yariv of the California Institute of Technology.

“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” President Obama said. “Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions.”

The UCSD Chancellor received the honor following her research in solar energy, a practice that has enabled the school to take a $1 billion campaign goal as well as additional academic and research roles.

“It’s a great honor to receive this prestigious recognition, and I am humbled and proud that the contributions made by my research group have advanced organic chemistry,” said Fox. “I was fortunate to have had brilliant and hardworking graduate students who focused on fundamental principles that were later translated into practical use in solar energy conversion, environmental remediation and material science. I truly believe that important developments in science and science education are vital for the future of this nation.”

Fox was appointed UCSD’s seventh Chancellor in August 2004 and immersed herself in the university’s strengths of innovation, interdisciplinary scholarship and international leadership.