Photo of Ernest Jaworski

Ernest Jaworski

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Agriculture

For their pioneering achievements in plant biology and agricultural biotechnology, and for global leadership in the development and commercialization of genetically modified crops to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability.

Such was Ernest Jaworski’s impact at Monsanto that the company established a gallery in his honor, featuring content that focuses on the challenges farmers face across the globe. Jaworski, who retired from the company in 1993, where he was director of biological sciences, concentrated his 41-year career there on helping farmers overcome those obstacles.

“Ernie redefined the future of Monsanto and our technology,’’ Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, said at the 2013 dedication of the Ernest Jaworski Agricultural Science Gallery at Monsanto’s Chesterfield Village research center in St. Louis.

Jaworski, who holds a Doctorate in Biochemistry from Oregon State University and joined Monsanto in 1952, led Monsanto’s plant biotechnology program and oversaw teams in the 1980s that developed, among other things, herbicide- and insect-resistant crops. His pioneering work, Oregon State University said, “helped launch the age of agricultural biotechnology.’’

He and his wife created a program at Oregon that brings students onto campus for 10-week programs to pursue plant sciences careers.

After leaving Monsanto, Jaworski served as the first director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, an independent non-profit research facility near St. Louis.

By Robert Warren