The White House announced the names of the scientists and engineers who will be receiving National Medals next year. I was very pleased to see that one of the winners of the National Medal of Science is Paul Alivisatos from Berkeley. Dr. Alivisatos is a chemistry professor who is also Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab, and of the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute (ENSI). His research has identified key applications of nanocrystals in renewable energy and other applications.
He is not the only medal winner whose work relates to the environment. Also winning the National Medal of Science, Simon Levin is one of the leaders in ecological theory. Joseph DeSimone received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, for work relating to lithium batteries, among other things. Another winner, Nancy Ho from UNC, has done work relating to cellulosic biofuels. Another winner of the technology medal, Arthur Gossard from UCSB, does work relating to the energy efficiency of themoelectric materials used for heating, cooling, or temperature measurement.
It’s nice to know we’re got such terrific people working on these problems. We’re going to need them to pull off our decarbonization efforts.