Issue Date: April 18, 2011
ACS Bestows 2011 Public Service Award
The American Chemical Society presented its 2011 Public Service Award to Jeremy M. Berg, a chemist who runs a $2 billion research institute at the National Institutes of Health, and Norman P. Neureiter, the first science and technology advisor to the Secretary of State, at a ceremony last week on Capitol Hill.
The award honors the scientists for their vision and leadership in science and engineering policy. "I am very pleased that ACS is recognizing two scientists who have dedicated their talents to public service," ACS President Nancy B. Jackson said in a statement.
Berg, director of NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, "is an effective advocate for basic research who has worked to increase the visibility of chemistry at NIH," Jackson said. He has also focused his efforts on training and motivating the next generation of scientists and increasing the diversity of the biomedical workforce. Berg plans to leave NIH at the end of June to take a position at the University of Pittsburgh (C&EN, Dec. 13, 2010, page 8).
One of Berg's most memorable achievements at NIH was finding middle ground with ACS in 2004 when NIH wanted to launch PubChem, a publicly available chemical structure database. ACS officials were worried that the free service would compete with their own private database, the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry. "This turned into a very complex issue with lots of negotiation," Berg recalls. Today, both PubChem and ACS/CAS are thriving, he says.
Neureiter, senior advisor to the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) served as science and technology advisor to the Secretary of State under Secretaries Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration and Colin Powell during the George W. Bush administration. He is credited with increasing the number of Ph.D. scientists working at the State Department.
A former oil industry research chemist, Neureiter also has a 23-year career in international business with the semiconductor industry. "He has left a profound mark on both science and foreign policy so that ACS is particularly proud to be recognizing him in 2011 during this International Year of Chemistry," Jackson said.
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