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Frank Press

Frank Press
Frank Press

The 1996 Beno Gutenberg Medal is awarded to Frank Press for his fundamental contributions to seismology and the application of seismological methods to earthquake prediction, hazard mitigation and nuclear test ban monitoring.

Frank Press received his B.S. at the City College of New York in 1944 and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the Columbia University in 1946 and 1949, respectively. Since 1948 he has published almost 200 papers and 2 books, and he has received 28 honorary degrees from universities and colleges in the US and the UK.

Frank Press served as Associate Professor in geophysics at the Columbia University from 1949 – 1955, as Professor in geophysics and later on as Director of the Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology from 1955 – 1965, as Professor in geophysics and Chairman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1965 – 1980, as Science Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the Executive Office of the President from 1977 to 1980, as President of the National Academy of Sciences from 1981 – 1993 and as Cecil and Ida Green Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1993 to the present.

In addition, he has been a consultant for the Department of Interior (1966 – 1976), Agency for International Development (1961 – 1964), Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1961 – 1964), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1960 – 1962, 1965), Office of Science and Technology (1959 – 1960), Department of State (1958 – 1962), Department of Defense (1958 – 1962), U.S. Geological Survey (1957 – 1959) and the U.S. Navy (1956 – 1957), and a member of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Board of Trustees. Other involvements include The Sloan Foundation; National Science Board, NSF; Participant, Bilateral Science Agreement with the USSR; Lunar and Planetary Mission Board, NASA; President’s Science Advisory Committee; International Geophysics Committee, International Council of Scientific Unions; U.S. Delegation, United Nations Conference on Science and Technology in Underdeveloped Nations; U.S. Delegate, Nuclear Test Ban Conference Geneva; and Moscow chairman, U.S. Delegation, Nuclear Test Ban Conference Geneva; Governor’s Advisory Council on Atomic Activities, California and of the UNESCO Technical Assistance Mission.

His NAS/NRC activities following his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1958 include: U.S. National Committee for Geology, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (AMPS), Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Council Committee on National Science Policy, Chairman, Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China, Commission on International Relations (CIR), Ex-officio Member, Board of International Scientific Exchange (CIR), Geophysics Study Committee, Geophysics Research Board, Division of Physical Sciences, Report Review Panel, Report Review Committee (NAS), Agassiz Medal Committee (NAS), U.S. National Geodynamics Committee, Geophysics Research Board Division of Physical Sciences, Report Review Committee (NAS), Steering Committee, Mid-Atlantic Workshop, Ocean Sciences Board, Division of Earth Sciences, Panel of Advisors, Academy Forum (NAS), Nominating Committee (NAS), U.S. Upper Mantle Committee, Geophysics Research Board, Division of Physical Sciences, Panel on Solid-Earth Problems, Geophysics Research Board, Division of Physical Sciences, Panel on Solid-Earth Problems, Geophysical Research Board, Division of Physical Sciences.

Among the many awards given to Frank Press are the Columbia Medal for Excellence (1959), the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1971), the Arthur L. Day Medal of the Geological Society of America (1972), the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union (1979), Legion of Honor (Officer) of the Republic of France (1989), the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1993), the Japan Prize (1993), and the National medal of Science (1994).

Newsletter 59, 35, 1996