Jewish scientists among medal recipients


Four Jewish scientists and engineers are among eight American innovators selected for the National Medal of Science.

The recipients of America’s highest honor for science and technology were announced Monday by President Bush, who will confer the awards on Sept. 29 at a White House ceremony.

Two of the Jewish honorees came to the United States with their families as refugees to escape Nazi and fascist persecution.

Andrew J. Viterbi of San Diego, born in Bergamo, Italy, is considered the father of cell-phone technology and founded cell-phone giant Qualcomm. He has endowed a program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at UCLA and a number of Jewish institutions in the San Diego area. Fay Ajzenberg-Selove was born in Berlin into a Russian-Jewish family and is a nuclear physicist at the University of Pennsylvania.

New York-born Leonard Kleinrock is a professor of computer science at UCLA and pioneered development of the basis of the Internet. Robert J. Lefkowitz, a native of New York, is a physician and pioneering biochemist at Duke University.

The other four honorees are Bert W. O’Malley of the Baylor College of Medicine, Charles P. Slichter of the University of Illinois, David Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Mustafa A. El-Sayed of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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