Bruce Alberts ‘60 Presented With National Medal of Science



Bruce Alberts, A.B. 1960, Ph.D. 1966, on November 20, 2014 was presented with the National Medal of Science “for intellectual leadership and experimental innovation in the field of DNA replication, and for unparalleled dedication to improving science education and promoting science-based public policy.”

Bruce, who taught at Princeton for ten years and then at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, was instrumental in calling for the mapping of the human genome, and this and other policy positions led to his becoming the president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1993 until 2005.

In May 2014, Bruce received the Centennial Medal, the highest alumni honor of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. As noted by Harvard’s GSAS in awarding him the Centennial Medal,

“During his time as president of the National Academy of Sciences, he spurred the adoption of national standards for K-12 science education and worked to bring science literacy and leadership to the developing world. . . . , and he continued to advocate for improved science education throughout the world as editor-in-chief of Science.

‘Bruce Alberts is one of the most admired figures in American science,’ says Richard Losick, the Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology at Harvard. He used his bully pulpits ‘to promote evidence-based approaches to science education [promoting research to determine what works and what doesn’t work], inspiring me and countless other colleagues across the country to devote ourselves as much to teaching effectively as to doing science.’”