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NSF Press Statement


NSF PS 04-01 - October 13, 2004

Media contact:

 David Hart



Statement by
Dr. Arden Bement
Acting Director
National Science Foundation

On Nobel Prizes in Science and NSF Connections

nobel prize graphic
Nobel Prize Graphic
Credit: NSF

 Note About Images

Arlington, Va.—I am pleased to congratulate this year's Nobel laureates in science for their much-deserved recognition. On behalf of the American public, the National Science Foundation (NSF) takes great pride in the remarkable achievements of this year's laureates who have been supported by NSF grants throughout their careers.

Of the 10 2004 Nobelists in science, six were supported by NSF at some time in their careers. The Economics laureates, Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott, received the prize for work funded by NSF.

Kydland and Prescott were awarded the 2004 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for their contributions to macroeconomics, particularly in addressing the time-consistency problem in formulating economic policy and in understanding the causes of business cycles. Both Kydland and Prescott have long histories of funding from NSF, which supported the Nobel-honored research. With this year's announcement, NSF has supported 31 of the 55 laureates since the Economics prize was first awarded in 1969.

In Physics, laureates David Gross, David Politzer and Frank Wilczek were honored for their work related to the strong force, which binds quarks into protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. Both Wilczek and Politzer were supported by NSF graduate fellowships while they conducted the Nobel-recognized research, and NSF support for Gross spans many years, beginning at Princeton University where Wilczek was his graduate student and since the mid-1990s at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. NSF has supported the KITP since its creation in 1979 and supported Wilczek when he was a member of the KITP in the 1980s.

In Physiology and Medicine, Richard Axel and Linda Buck were honored for their research on the sense of smell. Axel had previously been tapped by NSF in 1982 as one of the nation's outstanding young scientists as the recipient of NSF's Alan T. Waterman Award for devising a procedure for introducing genes into mammalian cells.

Since 1950, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to more than 150 U.S. and U.S.-based researchers who have been supported by NSF grants throughout their careers. Established "to promote the progress of science," NSF supports fundamental research in many disciplines, and the significance of and success in that mission is reflected, in part, by the number of NSF-supported scientists recognized with Nobel Prizes for their discoveries.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Receive official NSF news electronically through the e-mail delivery and notification system, Custom News Service. To subscribe, enter the NSF Home Page at: http://www.nsf.gov/home/cns/#new and fill in the information under "new users."

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
News Highlights: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa
Newsroom: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/media/start.htm
Science Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/stats.htm
Awards Searches: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a6/A6Start.htm



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