President Barack Obama honored 23 scientists Friday at the White House.
“This is the most collection of brainpower we’ve had under this roof in a long time,” Obama said to laughter from the honorees and guests in the East Room, “maybe since the last time we gave out these medals.”
Each researcher received either the National Medal of Science or the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, called the nation’s highest honor for research and discovery.
“In America, success does not depend on where you were born or what your last name is,” Obama said. “Success depends on the ideas that you can dream up; the blood, sweat and tears you’re willing to put in to make them real.”
The president didn’t only highlight such discoveries as photosynthetic organisms in the ocean or the far UV electrographic camera, he also pushed his proposals to increase federal spending for teaching and education.