AURORA — Nobel Laureate and IMSA Resident Scholar Dr. Leon Lederman is the 2008 recipient of the William Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service in the field of education. Dr. Lederman was only the tenth person to receive the Benton Medal, presented to him at the June 14th convocation of the University of Chicago.
The Benton Medal was created by the University of Chicago Trustees in 1967 to honor Sen. William Benton on his 25th anniversary as chairman and publisher of Encyclopedia Britannica. According to the University of Chicago website, the award is presented “to honor the most extraordinary service to the field of education and to the University.” This field includes “not only teachers but also … everyone who contributes in a systematic way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.”
Dr. Lederman, an internationally renowned high energy physicist and one of the founders of IMSA, is Director Emeritus of Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois and holds an appointment as Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He has served as President and Chairman of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is a member of the National Academy of Science and has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Physics and the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Lederman recently served as co-chair of the National Science Board Commission on 21st Century Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
IMSA President Dr. Max McGee said this latest award is a fitting tribute to Dr. Lederman’s legacy and limitless contributions to science education.
“As co-founder of IMSA, Dr. Lederman has dedicated his lifetime to inspiring young scientific minds, influencing public policy and raising awareness about the importance of science understanding in the general public,” Dr. McGee said. “I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Dr. Lederman and IMSA’s world-class learning experience can be attributed to his leadership as one of our founders and Resident Scholar.”
The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (www.imsa.edu)