President Obama has chosen nine individuals to receive the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony early in 2016. The medal, established in 1959, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Among the nine individuals selected for the honor this year, one is an African American.
Shirley Ann Jackson is president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Dr. Jackson was chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1995 to 1999. She then left government service to take over as president of RPI. Dr. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in any discipline from MIT.