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National Science Foundation - Celebrating 50 Years

Anniversary News

Anniversary Activities




Anniversary Activities

Events Around the Country:

A graduate student in Los Angeles receives a fellowship to study neural networks. A commuter in Seattle uses a cellular telephone to report a fire. In Atlanta, a crime suspect is positively identified through DNA "fingerprinting." Above Dallas, Doppler radar warns an airline pilot of potentially dangerous wind shear conditions. An eight-year-old in Boston sends ZOOM an activity for television.

These contributions to society -- and many more like them -- are the fruits of research and education supported by the National Science Foundation over its fifty-year history. Just a few years ago, none of this even existed. Want more? The Internet, camcorders, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and countless other innovations contribute every day to making our lives richer, safer.

Through many organizations, academic institutions and corporations -- all too numerous to mention -- the 50th anniversary of the National Science Foundation, NSF50, will be celebrated in many forms. The NSF50 celebration is being planned to include all whose lives have been touched by NSF-funded research and all who have a stake in the Nation's scientific and technological future -- which is to say every American. Please watch for events and publications. Each one is aimed at helping to build the science-literate public the Nation will need in order to face the challenges of the next century.

Here is just a sampling of NSF50 activities celebrated across the nation. New activities will be posted throughout 2000.

Events for General Audiences:

    NSF will receive the Explorers Club prestigious Annual Corporation /Institutional Support of Exploration Award (March 2000).

    Recognition of NSF contributions in concert with AAU's 100th anniversary (April 2000)

    "Cal Day" (April 15) -- a general campus open house attended by alumni and community members featuring campus presentations on research funded by NSF and an article in the June 2000 issue of MATRIX, College of Engineering alumni newsletter.

  • Dr. Rita Colwell with former NSF Directors; caption is below
    Former NSF Directors and Deputy Directors at the AAU Ceremony, (Left to right) Erich Bloch, H. Guyford Stever, Fred Bernthal, Donald Langenberg, Walter Massey, Neal Lane and current NSF Director, Rita Colwell.

  • UNIVERSITY CORPORATION FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH -- Boulder, CO Recognizing NSF contributions in concert with UCAR's 40th anniversary.

    Article in alumni magazine and regional journal "Northwest Science & Technology".

    - May 14-15, 2000. Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD, NSF was recognized at a two-day ACS Annual Meeting featuring keynote address by NSF Director Rita Colwell and introductory remarks from Senator Paul Sarbanes (MD).

    - April 17, 2000. NSF Director Rita Colwell received an honorary degree and the State of New York Legislature enacted a special resolution honoring the National Science Foundation upon its 50th anniversary. Visit the University of Albany website commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Science Foundation at http://www.albany.edu/tree-tops/research/office/nsf50.html.

    - A NSF50 commemorative public symposium and reception was held at the NSF Tokyo American Center emphasizing the importance of U.S. - Japan science and engineering cooperation.

    A seven part lecture series called "Discoveries of the 20th Century" -- running May through November -- will feature renowned U.S. scientists, researchers, engineers, and educators who join in commemorating NSF's 50 years of vision in support of science and engineering disciplines. Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, and Nobel Prize winners Richard Smalley and Robert Solow and others represent each of NSF's seven research, engineering or education directorates.

    A September "Rock'n'FossilFest" -- an all day geology/paleontology immersion experience for adults, children, and families -- will be held in recognition of NSF funded research done in the Denver Basin area.

  • Find Out Why: May 2000 - April 2001
    - A broad-based public awareness partnership to engage the public in the science, engineering and technology of everyday life was formed with Walt Disney Television Animation, ABC-TV and Discover Magazine.

    • Walt Disney Television Animation created nine (9) special 90-second interstitial programs to air for 52-consecutive weeks on ABC TV's One Saturday Morning beginning May 20, 2000. These programs feature Timon and Pumba from the Lion King. Topics include: adaptation, static electricity, rain, sneezes, wind, airplane flight, cold at the poles, the moon, and compact discs.
    • Discover Magazine will publish six, two-page advertorials highlighting the results of NSF funded scientific and engineering research. Advertorials will run in alternate months beginning in June 2000 through March 2001. Topics include: the environment, nanotechnology, information technology, education, bio-complexity, astronomy and space.
    • http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/events/fow/start.htm will highlight the topics presented in the television interstitials and the advertorials as well as contain educational materials for parents, teachers, and children.

  • Where Discoveries Begin:
    April 27, 2000 - Press Conference - Helping the Foundation to celebrate will be The Dow Chemical Company, Dartmouth College and Science Service, as well as a group of distinguished award-winning NSF-funded scientists and engineers from around the country. The press conference will announce the following special programs and initiatives:

    • "Scientists and Engineers in the School" - April 2000 - May 2001. This yearlong grassroots program will bring together middle-school students and teachers with many of our nation's accomplished scientists and engineers, including Nobel Laureates, PECASE and CAREER awardees, recipients of the National Medals of Science and Technology, and recipients of the Draper and Waterman Awards.
    • "S.E.E.ing the Future" Institute - November 10-17, 2000. Convened by Mae C. Jemison, The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries at Dartmouth College, will host a five-day institute to solicit the expertise of scientists, engineers and education leaders from academia, industry and government. These accomplished leaders will consider the impact and dimensions of science, engineering and technology on society in the coming years and build a framework for understanding and establishing priorities for the role of government, industry and academia. The end result will be a report of concerns or considerations for science and technology in the next 25 years and a status report on the group's impressions of technology and society today.
    • Congressional Breakfast and Press Conference - April 2001. The S.E.E.ing the Future report recommendations will be announced.
    • "The Future of Discovery Media Panel - April 2001. This briefing in Washington, DC, will bring together the nation's top science journalists with several of the nation's most highly regarded scientists, engineers and educators from the "S.E.E.ing the Future" Institute to discuss the future of science and engineering research and education policy.
    • Celebratory Dinner - April 2001. A celebration and opportunity to bring together key officials from the government, academe, and industry.
    • Local Events - May 10, 2000. The first of three school events in Dow site communities (Midland, MI; Baton Rouge, LA; Houston, TX).

Events and Programs for Families and Children:

  • JumpStart2000: Your Chance to Build A Better Century is a national science and technology challenge for students in grades K-12 that is developed and sponsored by Parade and react magazines, the National Science Board, the governing board of the National Science Foundation, and in partnership with the White House Millennium Council. The program invites all students to identify and share their hopes and concerns for the future and to apply science and technology to propose innovative solutions to important national or global issues. The effort also enlists the aid of teachers and other adult coaches. Winners were announced in PARADE magazine's May 14 issue and in react magazine's May 15 issue. The six winning teams were honored at an awards ceremony and activities May 15-18, 2000 in Washington, DC.

  • Find Out Why: In partnership with Time & Life Co.'s Time for Kids, NSF will provide nearly three-quarters of a million children and families with Find Out Why, a hands-on science magazine designed to inspire children to explore intriguing science questions with their friends and families. To subscribe please call 1-800-777-8600 or visit www.timeforkids.com or www.nsf.gov/findoutwhy.

  • Bayer/NSF Award for Community Innovation: With Bayer Corporation, the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, and Discover magazine, NSF will expand this successful middle-school-level competition that asks young people to solve community challenges using everyday science. Please visit www.nsf.gov/bayer-nsf-award.htm or call 1-800-291-6020.

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Last Modified: Mar 28, '03