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The Franklin Institute Awards

2007 Benjamin Franklin Medalist in Life and Science, Dr. Nancy Wexler (right), speaks with students from The Science Leadership Academy. On the evening of April 17, following a week of activities celebrating science and the spirit of discovery, nine individuals will be honored with Benjamin Franklin Medals and two will be presented with prestigious Bower Awards at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Franklin Institute Awards, often a precursor to the Nobel Prize, are awarded for outstanding achievements that have directly and positively impacted and enhanced the quality of human life and deepened our understanding of the universe.

The awards program dates back to 1824, when the Institute was established to train artisans and mechanics in the fundamentals of engineering and science. Past laureates have included Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, Jacques Cousteau, Gordon Moore and Jane Goodall. 108 Franklin laureates have won 110 Nobel prizes (2 won twice), and over 50 were recognized by The Franklin Institute prior to Nobel—often decades before—for the same work. Spanning three centuries, this program is among the most widely known and effective awards programs in existence.

For more information on the Franklin Institute’s week of science and the Awards themselves, please visit their website.

Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute