James A. Van Allen, an internationally known pioneer in space science research and education, was recently honored with the National Science Board's Vannevar Bush Award. Van Allen, who served as AGU president from 1982 to 1984, “has pioneered with vision, boldness, and drive the discovery and exploration of new frontiers in space science,” commented Mary Good, NSB chair. “His career as a scientist and mentor reflects hard work, frugality, and devotion to education.”
The award acknowledges outstanding contributions in science and technology that are significant to the national welfare. It was named after Vannevar Bush, director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II, who managed the first successful federal efforts to support large-scale scientific research. In receiving the award, Van Allen was recognized for his long and productive career in space science, including his discovery of the radiation belt around Earth (the Van Allen belt), his advocacy of the use of satellites for exploring the planets, his role as a government advisor on space science policy, and his effectiveness and dedication as an educator of young scientists.