The Bower Award for Achievement in Science, the United States' richest prize for science, was presented to Paul C. Lauterbur on September 18 by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Lauterbur, a professor of medical information science, chemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering at the Center for Advanced Study of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was recognized for his leadership in developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human body.

The international award, established this year (The Scientist, March 5, 1990, page 26), includes a gold medal and a cash prize of $290,000. The annual prize recognizes achievements in science that, according to the Franklin Institute's description of the award, "embody the scientific, entrepreneurial and humanitarian genius of Benjamin Franklin."

Lauterbur first conceptualized MRI in 1971, while observing experiments comparing the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) properties of healthy and diseased rat tissues. While data generated by NMR spectroscopy are generally one-dimensional, represented...

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