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Museum Wins Prestigious Public Service Award

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The National Science Board, the advisory body for the National Science Foundation, has named the American Museum of Natural History a winner of its 2015 Public Service Award. Every year, this prize is awarded by the National Science Board (NSB) to a person or institution for making exemplary contributions to the public understanding of science.

Nancy Simmons at Morpholution Program
Curator Nancy Simmons speaks with students at the "Morpholution" program in January 2013.

In a statement, noted engineer Vint Cerf, who is chair of NSB's Committee on Honorary Awards, cited the Museum’s many award-winning exhibitions and its many popular educational programs as just a few examples of the exceptional ways that the Museum is bringing science into the lives of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.

"Each year, the American Museum of Natural History shares the excitement and wonder of science with millions of students, teachers, families and other members of the public with its exhibitions and public programs," said Cerf.

The Museum’s research divisions and three cross- disciplinary centers support 200 scientists who draw on a world-class collection of 33 million specimens and artifacts. The work of the Museum’s researchers also informs the exhibitions, seen in venues around the world, and educational programs, which have grown in scope over the past two decades to include initiatives such as Urban Advantage, which serves a third of all New York City middle schools, a Master’s in Teaching program that trains science teachers for New York State, and the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the first PhD-granting program of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.  

The Public Service Award will be presented to the Museum, as well as to a second organization that has yet to be announced, in a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 5. Museum President Ellen V. Futter will be in D.C. to accept on behalf of the institution.

"We are honored to receive this award from the National Science Board in recognition of the Museum's efforts to address the national crisis in science education, to increase the public understanding of science and to prepare the next generation of scientists, science teachers and scientifically literate citizens," said Futter in a statement.