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Philly students are inspired by the 2014 Science Laureates

The panel
The panel
Stephanie Santo

On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 approximately 250 students and visitors mingled with some of the top minds in science at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. This included hands on demonstrations lead by the 2014 Franklin Institute Award Laureates highlighting their work in environmental science, chemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering, earth science, life science and physics. A panel discussion followed where the students and visitors got to ask questions. The panelists shared stories of their interest and innovation in science. It was presented by PACTS (Institutes Partnerships for Achieving Careers in Technology and Science), which “provides a unique opportunity for local and regional students to interact with some of the world's most important and accomplished scientists and engineers.”

Lastly, a reception ended the event providing one last opportunity to rub elbows with some of the world’s leading science and technology researchers in the world. Students left feeling inspired to continue their pursuit and interest in the sciences and technology.

In 1824, the Franklin Institute Awards was founded with the Institute in order honor science and technology. It is the oldest and still considered the most comprehensive honor bestowed in the country and around the world. “Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city and a noted center of innovation and manufacturing.” (Franklin Institute) In 1874, the Franklin Institute Committee on Science and the Arts began selecting Franklin Institute Award recipients. In 1990, the Bower Awards were made possible by a 7.5 million donation from Philadelphia’s noted chemical engineer, Henry Bower.

The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science and the Bower Award for Business Leadership are two of the newer awards. The following are the 2014 Laureates:

  • Edmund M. Clark, Ph.D. – Carnegie Mellon University – Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
  • William W. George – Harvard University – Bower Award for Business Leadership
  • Christopher T. Walsh, Ph.D. – Harvard Medical School – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry
  • Shunichi Iwasaki, Ph.D.- Tohuko Institute of Technology – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
  • Mark Kryder, Ph.D. – Carnegie Mellon University - Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
  • Lisa Tauxe Ph.D.- University of California – San Diego – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science
  • Joachim Frank Ph.D. – Columbia University – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science
  • Ali H. Nayfeh Ph.D. – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering
  • Daniel Kleppner Ph.D. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics

For more information, including a complete schedule of Awards Week events, please visit

Information and schedules about the upcoming annual Philadelphia Science Festival (April 25 - May 3) can also be found here.

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