Press Release: President Clinton Names Enrico Fermi Award Winners
Stanford's Sidney Drell Honored
President Clinton today named Sidney Drell as a winner of the Enrico
Fermi Award, given for a lifetime of achievement in the field of nuclear
energy. Dr. Drell will receive the award for his contributions to arms control
and national security and to particle physics. Also named were Sheldon Datz,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for his pioneering research in atomic and
chemical physics and Herbert York, emeritus director of the University of
California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation for his efforts
for nuclear deterrence and arms control agreements.
"These scientists have made important contributions in the fields of chemistry and physics," President
Clinton said. "Their pioneering work in the very complex area of arms control
has benefited our nation and the world."
Dr. Sidney Drell, 74, is a physicist and professor emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC),
Stanford University. "I'm very honored to receive this award, one that has
been given to some of the great leaders in modern nuclear science. I'm also
very pleased that both aspects of my work have been recognized: my contributions
to fundamental theoretical physics and to technical national security issues,"
As a high-energy physicist, Drell has carried out important
theoretical work in quantum electrodynamics and helped guide long-range
planning of national accelerator laboratories. Dr. Drell earned his Ph.D.
in physics from the University of Illinois. He was deputy director of SLAC
until 1998 and has been senior fellow at the Hoover Institution since then.
As an arms control specialist, Dr. Drell has been an advisor to the federal
government on national security and defense technical issues. He is a founding
member of the prestigious group of scientific advisors known as JASON. Drell
commented that he was particularly gratified "that we have a technical basis
for US support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that is consistent with
our national security." He added, "The CTBT is an important component of
our effort to reduce nuclear danger in today' heavily nuclear world and
I support its ratification by the US Senate."
The winners will each receive a gold medal and a $66,000 honorarium. The Department of Energy administers
the Fermi Award for the White House, and Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson
will present the awards on December 18 in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Fermi Award, the government's oldest science and technology award, dates
to 1956. It honors the memory of Enrico Fermi, leader of the group of scientists
who, on December 2, 1942, achieved the first self-sustained, controlled
nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. Among the first recipients
were physicists John von Neumann, Ernest O. Lawrence, Hans Bethe, Edward
Teller and Robert Oppenheimer.