Bienenstock recognized for contributions to the advancement of science

ARTHUR BIENENSTOCK, professor of photon science, emeritus, is the winner of the 2018 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, given by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Arthur Bienenstock
Arthur Bienenstock (Photo by Gerard T. Lum)

The prize, which consists of a commemorative medallion and an honorarium of $5,000, recognizes individuals who have “made signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States.”

AAAS is recognizing Bienenstock for his academic leadership, his efforts to improve public understanding of science and his promotion of diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

“[Bienenstock] fully embodies the qualities of public service, scientific achievement and service to the research community that AAAS seeks to recognize through the Abelson Prize,” said Tobin Smith, vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities, in his nomination letter, according to the AAAS press release.

Bienenstock was director of what is now the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) from 1978 to 1997, which was incorporated into the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in 1992. From 2003 to 2006, he was Stanford’s vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy. He is now a federal policy adviser to President MARC TESSIER-LAVIGNE and has led the Wallenberg Research Link since 2008, which cultivates collaboration between Stanford and Swedish researchers. In 2015, Stanford and SLAC established the Wallenberg-Bienenstock Professorship, the first endowed professorship for a faculty member with a joint appointment between Stanford and SLAC.

In the early 1970s, Bienenstock led the campaign, along with the faculty senate and university trustees, that eliminated a legal limit on the number of women who could enroll in Stanford. From 1972 to 1977, he was the university’s first faculty affirmative action officer. As associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Clinton administration, he pushed to improve opportunities for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. During this time and beyond, Bienenstock has also advocated for increased federal support of research in various scientific fields, emphasizing the interdependencies of science.

Among numerous awards, Bienenstock has previously received the Pittsburgh Diffraction Society’s Sidhu Award, the Rector’s Medal from the University of Helsinki, the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of Energy and the 2009 Cuthbertson Award from Stanford, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the university. He is a fellow of AAAS, the American Physical Society and the California Council on Science and Technology and is a member of the National Science Board, appointed by President Barack Obama.

Bienenstock will receive the Abelson Prize during the Feb. 18 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

For more, read the AAAS press release.