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05-13-2001

Deka Research & Development Corporation President Dean Kamen Awarded Clarkson University Honorary Degree

DEKA Research & Development Corporation President Dean Kamen of Manchester, N.H., received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 108th Commencement in KamenPotsdam, N.Y., on Sunday, May 13.

The degree was awarded "for his extraordinary world-wide impact as an inventor and entrepreneur, and for his exemplary leadership as an advocate for the creative integration of science and technology in serving humanity."

My observation and advice to students these days is that you have a problem to reconcile. Never, ever, ever before in the world has there been such opportunity, due to technology in particular, to create and enjoy wealth. And that allows for a problem that other generations didn't have, which is a huge disparity between the haves and the have-nots - those that have access to and understand technology, and those that don't.

[We] have been given such an extraordinary advantage… We owe a substantial amount of our time and our effort to doing things that give back.

Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology whose passion for technology and its imaginative application is changing the culture of the United States. His knowledge and ability to integrate the fundamental laws of physics with the most modern technologies has generated a multitude of breakthrough processes and products.

Kamen holds more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents, many for innovative medical devices that have dramatically improved health care worldwide. As a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, used in medical specialties such as chemotherapy, neonatology, and endocrinology. He founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps, added other infusion devices (including the first insulin pump for diabetics) and then, at age 30, sold the company to Baxter International Corporation.

A decade ago Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and he remains its driving force and personal embodiment. (A Clarkson student team participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition.) FIRST motivates the next generation to learn about science and technology and Kamen has personally recruited scores of top leaders from American industry, education and government to join this crusade. Called "the Pied Piper of Technology" by Smithsonian Magazine, he was profiled by the New York Times as "A New Kind of Hero for American Youth."

Among the prestigious honors received by Kamen: The Kilby Award, which celebrates those who make extraordinary contributions to society; the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment; and the National Medal of Technology, awarded by President Clinton in 2000 for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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