30 No. 1
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Zafra Lerman Receives George Brown Award for International Scientific Collaboration
The U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), based in Arlington, Virginia, USA, presented its George Brown Award for International Scientific Cooperation to an outstanding scientist 11 October 2007 at the U.S. Department of State. Zafra Lerman, head of the Institute for Science Education and Science Communication at Columbia College Chicago, was recognized for her use of international science collaboration to promote peace and prosperity.
Presented annually by CRDF, the George Brown Award honors the vision and legacy of the late Congressman George E. Brown Jr., a recognized advocate of science in the interest of peace. His vision and efforts helped to create the institutional framework for science and technology in the federal government, as well as several nongovernmental organizations, including CRDF. CRDF created the award three years ago to recognize individuals who continue Brown’s scientific vision.
In her acceptance speech, Lerman described science as an international language and an invaluable way to build peace in such regions as the Middle East. Lerman has recently focused on connecting scientists from different countries within the Middle East to begin building the basis for serious cooperation and communication in the future—including an annual conference held in Malta that brings together scientists from Israel and other Middle Eastern nations. (See more about this IUPAC activity in the Mar-Apr 2006 CI.)
“Science is probably the only field that contributes to the longevity and quality of life, but it can also cut life short. We have learned from the past that scientists can contribute to solving global issues by communicating with each other.” said Dr. Lerman. “In the Middle East, there is some light at the end of this dark tunnel. Like other Americans, I have a dream that researchers in the Middle East will achieve peace by working together. Supporting activities like the Malta conference will go a great way towards building peace in the Middle East.”
This year’s award ceremony drew a large number of ambassadors, government officials, public health officials, and business leaders—including U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who represents the Ninth District of Illinois. Ambassador Reno Harnish, III, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, served as the keynote speaker.
CRDF is a nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress and established in 1995 by the National Science Foundation. This unique public-private partnership promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, and training.
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