Boy Scouts of America Recognizes Volunteer and Winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Boy Scouts of America Recognizes Volunteer and Winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Baltimore-Area Resident and Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster Receives Chemistry's Highest Honor

(December 2003, Irving, TX) Most of the time, the Boy Scouts of America recognizes its members and volunteers for their achievements inside the organization. Today, the BSA is proud to recognize one of its 1.2 million adult volunteers for his accomplishments outside Scouting.

Eagle Scout, Baltimore-area Scouting volunteer, and eminent chemistry and medical researcher from Johns Hopkins Medical School Dr. Peter Agre recently received news that he and one of his colleagues had been awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work in water channels at the cellular level.

A number of reporters have asked Agre how it feels to win the Nobel Prize. His response has been, "Honestly I feel I identify a lot more with Huckleberry Finn than with Albert Einstein." That sounds like a real Scouter.

Agre and his colleague, Dr. Roderick McKinnon from Rockefeller University, will be in Stockholm, Sweden, to accept the Nobel Prize on December 9, 2003.

"The Boy Scouts are proud to recognize one of our own for this significant accomplishment," said Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams. "We have more than 1.2 million volunteers who give of their time and talents every day. We are proud to count Dr. Agre among the strong cadre of volunteers who shape the lives of our youth every day."

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences informed Agre of his selection in late October. "I am an early riser, but this was a little earlier than usual. I received a call at 5:30 A.M. from Sweden that produced quite a bit of celebration in our house," Agre said.

"My youngest daughter, a Venturing crew member, was delighted, and for the first time in my life she came back and said, "'All my friends say this is so cool!'"

Agre's family has a long history in the Scouting movement. In addition to Agre earning his Eagle Scout Award as a youth in Minnesota, his daughter is a Venturer, his son received his Eagle Scout Award last year, and his brother is also an Eagle Scout.

"As a little kid, I always wanted to be a Scout. Scouting was wonderful, and in Boys' Life you get to see all these glorious things that the older Scouts do ... I just enjoyed it immensely and it seemed like the logical thing to do then is to join Boy Scouts," Agre said.

Agre is an assistant Scoutmaster and Venturing crew leader in the Baltimore area. "So most of the year, I sit at a desk with papers and in front of a computer," he said. "It's not exactly what you call exciting. My Scouting and high-adventure involvement is something I look forward to very much, and I think the kids really benefit from having those experiences.

"I would advise kids to take a look at Scouting. It has wonderful programs, and the lessons you learn are with you for your whole life. It's been very good for me and my family," Agre said.

The Scouting movement is composed of 1.2 million volunteers working together for the sole purpose of helping its more than 3 million youth succeed in life. The Boy Scouts of America's 94-year history is a testament to the enduring values of the Scouting program. For more information about Scouting, as well as opportunities to volunteer in area communities, visit