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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

S. James Gates Jr. awarded National Medal of Science

In a White House ceremony on Friday, February 1, President Barack Obama presented Perimeter Distinguished Visiting Research Chair S. James Gates Jr. with the highest honour bestowed on scientists by the US government.

One of Perimeter’s Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs has just been awarded the US National Medal of Science.

Supersymmetry expert S. James Gates Jr. was among the 12 scientists to be honoured at the White House on Friday, February 1. The National Medal of Science recognizes extraordinary knowledge and outstanding contributions in science and engineering. It is considered one of America’s top civic honours.

Gates is the John S. Toll Professor and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland. He also serves on US President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2011, Gates became one of Perimeter’s Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs, eminent scientists who make regular, extended research and collaboration visits to the Institute.

S. James Gates receiving the National Medal of Science from US President Barack Obama
Perimeter Distinguished Visiting Research Chair S. James Gates Jr. with US President Barack Obama at the presentation ceremony for the National Medal of Science (Photo credit: Ryan K Morris/National Science & Technology Medals Foundation)

The recognition from the White House is as unexpected as it is gratifying, Gates said. “I have been blown away,” he added. “What a nice surprise.” Gates remembers clearly the day that science came into his life – when his mother took him to see a movie about astronauts, rockets, and space travel when he was four years old and living in Newfoundland. By the time he was eight, fueled by books brought home by his father, he was committed to becoming a scientist. Today, Gates is one of the world’s leading experts on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

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