SCARSDALE, N.Y. - A Scarsdale scientist joined the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Redford and Bruce Springsteen in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Last week, President Barack Obama announced that Scarsdale native Richard Garwin was one of 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the “highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to culture or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Garwin is a polymath physicist that has made “pioneering contributions to U.S. defense and intelligence technologies, low-temperature and nuclear physics, detection of gravitational radiation, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer systems, laser printing, nuclear arms control and nonproliferation,” according to the White House.
A former Director of Applied Research at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Garwin has taught at some of the nation’s top universities and holds nearly 50 patents.
“This is a fitting tribute for an exceptionally talented man who has dedicated himself to a lifetime of public service, including advising every U.S. President from Eisenhower to Obama,” IBM Research Director Arvind Krishna stated. “Dick (worked) tirelessly on issues to help solve some of the worlds biggest problems and pushed the boundaries of knowledge in so many fields.”
On Tuesday, Garwin was at the White House to accept his award.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor - it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” Obama said in a statement.
“From scientists, philanthropists and public servants, to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”