Shirley M. Tilghman Receives the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award

Molecular Biologist and Former Princeton University President Will Speak at Smithsonian Associates’ Event
March 20, 2014
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Shirley M. Tilghman

The Smithsonian Associates and the Creativity Foundation have named Shirley M. Tilghman the recipient of the 14th annual Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award in honor of her pioneering work in public service and education. Tilghman, a molecular biologist and recent past president of Princeton University, will discuss how her work has challenged and expanded the world of teaching and research with Katherine Brittain Bradley, president of the CityBridge Foundation, Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center.

The Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award recognizes and celebrates influential thinkers, innovators and catalysts in the arts, sciences and humanities, in both traditional and emerging disciplines. Previous recipients were Yo-Yo Ma, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Eric Kandel, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jules Feiffer, Ted Turner, Lisa Randall, Meryl Streep, Greg Mortenson, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Mark Morris and Bill Drayton. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for Associate members. For tickets the public may call (202) 633-3030 or visit

As a biologist, Tilghman pushed the boundaries of research in genomics. During her tenure at Princeton she worked to increase the diversity of Princeton’s faculty and students, fostered a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and research and focused on a wide range of initiatives, including the university’s Global Scholars Program and the Bridge Year Program, which gives incoming freshmen an opportunity to defer their studies for a year to devote themselves to public service overseas. She saw her role as making the university’s world “a better place through the power of the mind and the imagination.” 

The Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award is made possible by the Creativity Collaboration, a joint program of The Smithsonian Associates and the Creativity Foundation. For information about the Creativity Foundation, visit

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Lauren Lyons

(202) 633-8614