Newman, Ottinger, and Putnam Awarded 2016 Gold Medals

Three distinguished Americans—Pauline Newman, Richard L. Ottinger, and Robert D. Putnam—received the National Institute’s Gold Honor Medal at a private ceremony in New York City on November 15.

Judge Newman is circuit judge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In accepting her medal, she noted her court holds “a unique place in the federal judicial structure,” handling patent, trademark, tax, and other specialized areas of U.S. law. Her court is charged with “stabilizing our national jurisprudence in areas of innovation,” she said.

Mr. Ottinger was a leading environmental advocate during his 16 years in Congress. National Institute Vice President Nicholas Robinson praised Mr. Ottinger for his “singular commitment to public service.” In accepting his medal, Mr. Ottinger, who is dean emeritus of the Pace University Law School and co-director of its Center for Environmental Legal Studies, observed that “this is a time when we need the social sciences more than ever before.”

Dr. Putnam is the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard and the past president of the American Political Science Association. Columbia University Professor of Political Science and History Ira Katznelson introduced Professor Putnam as an intellectual “who has contributed both to scholarship and to the life of the republic.” Professor Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Renewal of American Community and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, said that he tried “to understand the basis of community in America and why it had been coming apart.”

November’s dinner was the 102nd such event; the first was held in 1913.