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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 21, 1999



The President announced today his intent to appoint Samuel H. Preston and Mary Lou Zoback to serve as Members of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Dr. Samuel H. Preston, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, has served as Dean at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts and Sciences since 1998. He has served on the School's sociology faculty since 1979 and was named Frederick J. Warren Professor of Demography in 1988. Dr. Preston is a demographer whose studies have focused on the causes and consequences of population change, with special attention to mortality. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 12 books and over 140 articles and is the recipient of major grants from the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Compton Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Dr. Preston is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, where he chaired the section on Society and Political Science and has been Trustee of the Population Council since 1997. Dr. Preston received a B.A., magna cum laude from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

Dr. Mary Lou Zoback, of Palo Alto, California, has served at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in several capacities since 1978, and is presently Chief Scientist of the Earthquake Hazards program in Menlo Park, CA. As a geologist and geophysicist, Dr. Zoback is interested in the origin of tectonic stresses in the earth's crust and their relationship to earthquakes, both along plate boundaries like the San Andreas Fault and within plate interiors. In 1995, Dr. Zoback was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and currently is the only staff member of the USGS who is in the Academy. Dr. Zoback is a fellow of both the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the American Geophysical Union. She has been serving as the President of the GSA, since October 1999. Dr. Zoback received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 (42 U.S.C. 1880) to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Up to twenty individuals may be honored in any one calendar year. Medal of Science recipients are selected by the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.