President Obama Honors Two Northwest Women Scientists

May 19, 2016

President Obama Thursday honored two of the Northwest’s leading scientists at a White House ceremony.

Nine people received the federal government’s highest honor for scientists – including two women at Northwest universities.

President Obama highlighted the work of Mary-Claire King - a University of Washington professor who studied cancer’s possible genetic causes… even as most scientists were focused on viral causes.

“This self-described stubborn scientist kept going until she proved herself right. Seventeen years of work later, Mary-Claire discovered a single gene that pre-disposes women to breast cancer,” President Obama said.

Obama also gave a National Medal of Science to a ground-breaking chemist at the University of Oregon. Geraldine Richmond studies reactions at the surface of water – when it’s affected by oil or other substances. Richmond is also a federal science envoy to Southeast Asia and a member of the National Science Board.

Copyright 2016 OPB