The James B. Macelwane Medal, which is given for significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by a young scientist of outstanding ability, was presented to John E. Vidale at the 1994 Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony on December 7, 1994, in San Francisco. The award citation and Vidale's response are given here.
“Scientific discovery most often comes from the creative exploitation of newly available data to address long-standing problems. John Vidale, who shares the 1994 Macelwane Medal, has excelled in this regard. His contributions in seismological studies of Earth structure and earthquake sources have been an inspiration to geophysicists throughout the world. His numerous publications in the leading journals Nature and Science over the past 4 years already well exceeds the number of papers accepted by these two journals in a typical scientific career. John selects data like ripe fruit waiting to be plucked, and utilizes it wisely.