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Norman Neureiter Honored

Chemist who melded science and diplomacy at the State Department will receive NAS Public Welfare Medal

by Lois Ember
January 21, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 3

Credit: NAS
Credit: NAS

Norman P. Neureiter has been named the 63rd recipient of the National Academy of Sciences' prestigious Public Welfare Medal. He is being honored for elevating the status of science and technology at the State Department.

In September 2000, Neureiter became the first science and technology adviser to the secretary of state. During his three-year term, he advised Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell and led the U.S. in international cooperation in science and technology. The number of science and diplomacy fellows in the Department increased fivefold under his tenure.

Neureiter, who now works for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Northwestern University, and in 1957 became a research chemist for Humble Oil & Refining. He served as an interpreter for the State Department during U.S.-Soviet nuclear test-ban treaty negotiations in the early 1960s. He then joined the International Affairs Office of the National Science Foundation, eventually becoming the first permanent director of the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Science Program, which was created by President John F. Kennedy.

In 1967, Neureiter became a Foreign Service reserve officer and served as a deputy science attaché at the U.S. embassy in Germany and then science attaché in State's Eastern Europe post until 1969. Under President Richard M. Nixon, Neureiter was responsible for international affairs at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Neureiter returned to industry in 1973, when he joined Texas Instruments and retired 23 years later as a vice president. He will receive his medal on April 27 at NAS's annual meeting.


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