Science  20 Mar 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5921, pp. 1545


    TURING AWARD. Barbara Liskov marvels at the technological gains in computer science in the 40 years since she earned her Ph.D. But progress on achieving gender equity has been much slower, says the first woman to earn a U.S. doctoral degree in the field.

    This month, Liskov, 69, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the 2008 A. M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. The award, which comes with a $250,000 prize, recognizes her development of CLU and Argus, computer languages based on object-oriented programming. Her work laid the foundation for today's widely used programs Java and C++, which power most Internet software.

    “I think we've made progress [in closing the gender gap], but I don't think we're where we want to be,” says Liskov, who was one of only 10 women on the MIT faculty when she was hired in 1972. She's also associate provost for faculty equity, overseeing efforts to increase the number of women and minorities on the faculty.


    NEW KAVLI HEAD. An engineer who has managed a venture-capital firm will be the next president of the Kavli Foundation. Robert Conn, a former dean of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, says his first task will be to preserve the foundation's endowment so it can continue to support its 15 university-based research centers. The foundation, started in 2000 by Norwegian-born businessman Fred Kavli, also awards biannual $1 million prizes in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Conn takes over next month from David Auston.


    CHANGE AT MACARTHUR. Robert Gallucci, a military and foreign policy expert who served as the chief U.S. negotiator during the 1994 North Korean nuclear crisis, will be the next president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Gallucci has held several jobs in the U.S. government and helped create the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, which engages former Russian weapons scientists in nonweapons research. He's currently dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


    FAVORITE SON. Eric Isaacs, the new director of Argonne National Laboratory, plans to make energy the Illinois lab's focus by expanding basic research already under way on storage, catalysis, alternative fuels, and combustion. For the condensed-matter physicist, energy conservation begins at home: An Argonne scientist since 2003 and deputy director since last May, Isaacs won't even need a moving van when he takes over in May for the outgoing director, Robert Rosner.

    Simon Mochrie, a physicist at Yale University, predicts that Isaacs will be a good fit for the Department of Energy lab, which hosts the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron x-ray source. “Eric is a longtime user of x-ray facilities, and I think that will be a strength for Argonne,” says Mochrie.


    INTEL WINNERS. Eric Larson (left), a high school senior from Eugene, Oregon, has claimed the top prize—a $100,000 college scholarship—in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search for his classification of new fusion categories, a type of algebraic structure with applications in string theory and quantum computation. Second- and third-place winners were William Sun, 17, of Chesterfield, Missouri, and Philip Streich, 18, of Platteville, Wisconsin.


    Sun (middle) receives a $75,000 scholarship for researching the newly discovered molecule Golgicide A as a potential drug to treat bacterial infections and prevent Alzheimer's disease. Streich (right), a home-schooled student, earns a $50,000 scholarship for work demonstrating the solubility of carbon nanotubes; he and his mentor, chemist James Hamilton of the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, have filed for five patents.


    TO SERVE. For physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, mentoring other women in science is simply emulating what Nobelist Rosalyn Yalow, then a young faculty member at Hunter College in New York City, did for her as an undergraduate there. It's also part of her credo: “Whenever I was asked to do something that would benefit others, I did it.” Last week, the National Science Board, the oversight body for the National Science Foundation, honored her service and her accomplishments in carbon science with its Vannevar Bush Award.


    A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1968, Dresselhaus has served as president of the American Physical Society and other societies including AAAS, which publishes Science. She also headed the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science from 2000–01.

    At 78, Dresselhaus still begins work at 6 a.m. And she's lost none of her enthusiasm for research and mentoring. “You can do a lot by getting people excited about science. We don't do this for money, or awards, we do it for love.”

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