WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama honored 12 researchers and 11 inventors with the nation’s top award for invention and discovery.

Obama bestowed the national medals of science and the national medals of technology and innovation in a ceremony Friday in the East Room of the White House.

One of the recipients, Gholam Peyman, is credited with inventing Lasik eye surgery. Obama noted that another recipient, Robert Langer, developed a groundbreaking product to tame frizzy hair.

Obama said that throughout history, geniuses like Albert Einstein and Galileo have been treated skeptically at first. He said the nation’s future depends on keeping the curiosity and innovation alive.

Obama said what makes the U.S. unique is that success depends not on pedigree but on hard work and the ability to dream up new ideas.