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Robotics Industry News

USA Science and Engineering Festival Releases Statement about the Passing of Festival Founder Larry Bock

Robotic Industries Association

WASHINGTON, DC — Festival visionary and founder Lawrence A. Bock –a tireless advocate for STEM education and innovation –died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at his home in the San Diego area. He was 56.

The USA Science and Engineering Festival released the following statement from Festival Executive Director, Marc Schulman:

“It is with great sadness and heavy heart that we say goodbye to Larry Bock, the founder of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, who passed away at his home last evening. Larry waged a monumental battle with pancreatic cancer. He will be remembered as a brilliant entrepreneur, passionate philanthropist and dedicated family man. His passing is a profound loss but his legacy of inspiring math and science education will have a lasting impact on students and our nation for future generations.”

Larry launched the San Diego Science Festival to educate and inspire our next generation to pursue STEM careers. He then evolved this into the USA Science & Engineering Festival, the nation’s largest science festival held biennially in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his work with the Festival, Larry was a serial entrepreneur who founded, co-founded or financed the early stage growth of 40 companies from inception to an aggregate market capitalization of $70 Billion.

He received numerous awards and honors, including being selected by the US Commission for UNESCO to represent the U.S. for the 2011 Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science; receiving the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Prize from the Air Force Association for the best STEM Education Program; receiving the 2014 Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize of the Society of Developmental Biology; and being named by Venture Capital Journal as one of the “Ten Most Influential Venture Capitalists.

“Larry also served on a number of boards, including the Advisory Board and the Technology Advisory Board of the NanoBusiness Alliance; the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration; and on the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Larry and his wife Diane, established the Larry and Diane Bock Chair in Nanotechnology at the University of California, Berkeley held by Dr. Paul Alivisatos. They also founded the non-profit Science Spark and Community Cousins, a non-profit foundation focused on breaking down racial barriers, which was selected by former Vice President Al Gore as one of 10 outstanding grass root efforts nationally.

“Larry’s accomplishments in life were a testament to his brilliance, passion, drive and love. Among his proudest accomplishments are his two daughters, Quincy and Tasha. He has been taken from us much too early. We extend our deepest condolences to his beloved family, and are honored to be able to continue the important work he started. He was one of a kind.”

In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions may be made to Science Spark for producing the continuation of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, his crowning achievement. The Festival combines his love of science, entrepreneurship, jovial spirit, sense of adventure and his fondest hopes and dreams as a Dad.

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