The Department of State relies upon the skills of America’s scientists and technologists to help develop and fulfill its scientific mission. At the Department, the Office of the Science & Technology Advisor and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs promote global scientific and technological progress as integral components of U.S. diplomacy. In addition, the adviser facilitates bilateral and multilateral scientific cooperation with foreign countries and fosters the scientific and technological capacity of developing countries.
Started in 1942, the Science Talent Search is America’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. The program encourages students to tackle challenging scientific and technical questions and helps develop the skills to solve the problems of tomorrow. Finalists and winners from past years have gone on to earn seven Nobel Prizes in chemistry and physics, two Fields Medals in mathematics, eleven MacArthur Foundation ”genius” grants, and with Natalie Portman’s recent achievement, an Academy Award for best actress. Forty finalists were selected from over 1,700 applicants to attend this year’s gala. Their research projects ranged from treating autoimmune diseases with ultraviolet light to finding more efficient ways to harness solar energy.