RCSA Celebrates 100 Years of U.S. Science Advancement
RCSA celebrated 100 Years of Supporting Science Innovation during 2012. Our founder, Frederick Gardner Cottrell, launched Research Corporation on Feb. 16, 1912, with his vision to find and support young scientists with innovative ideas, and he actively built communities of scientists. During the centennial year we celebrated all that has resulted from that vision.
Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) reaffirmed its ongoing mission by hosting a lunch in Tucson on Feb. 16, 2012, a Centennial Gala and a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. In May, RCSA hosted two events in New York City in cooperation with the New York Academy of Sciences.
RCSA held its 100th birthday party in the soaring entrance to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, D.C. The celebration, with more than 300 guests, among them Nobel laureates and current leaders in science, science policy and academia, took place under a canopy of historically important aircraft, including Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, suspended from the museum’s lofty ceiling.
The black-tie event featured keynote speaker Norman Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin and director of the influential Gathering Storm reports on American science and math education; Nobel laureates Dudley Herschbach and Carl Wieman; Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences; Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E); Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, president of the American Chemical Society; Beverly Tatum, president of Spelman College; John P. Schaefer, former RCSA president; Gayle P.W. Jackson, RCSA board chair; and James M. Gentile, RCSA president and CEO. Ira Flatow, producer and host of Science Friday on NPR, was the master of ceremonies.
Earlier in the day, RCSA co-sponsored, with the American Chemical Society (ACS), a congressional briefing on “STEM Education for an Innovative Workforce.” It featured a discussion by James M. Gentile, RCSA president and CEO; Bassam Shakhashiri, president of ACS; Hunter Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities; Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-CO. The panel was introduced by Madeleine Jacobs, ACS executive director.
“Through these events we hoped to show that RCSA remains steadfast in its 100-year commitment to advancing the American scientific enterprise,” said RCSA’s Gentile. “Specifically, we are rededicating ourselves to the support of the academic-based science that not only yields breakthrough discoveries, but also creates the next generation of researchers and the high-quality scientific workforce our nation requires to compete in the 21st century.”
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