AAAS Issues Awards for Research, Education and Public Engagement

AAAS has named the winners of ten prestigious awards in the fields of research, education, and public service, citing the winners' leadership, their deep commitment to discovery, and their positive impact in fostering public engagement with science.

The winners will receive their awards at a 14 February ceremony at the 180th AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill:

The Newcomb Cleveland Prize: The wining Science paper, whose lead researchers are from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, provides a comprehensive reconstruction of the neuronal circuits for mating behaviors in the adult male roundworm.

The Philip Hauge Abelson Award: Lewis M. Branscomb, a prominent American physicist, policy advisor and research manager, was honored "for his prolific and distinguished career in science, technology, innovation, and policy" and "for his achievements in academia, in business, in government, and as a philanthropist."

The Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award: Hoosen Coovadia, a South African pediatrician and research scientist, and international authority on HIV/AIDS, particularly mother-to-child transmission, was honored by AAAS for "his unwavering belief, in the face of opposition from his government, that sound science should guide public policy and his devotion to the health of the most vulnerable."

AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy: Siegfried Hecker, director emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratory and an internationally recognized expert in plutonium science, global threat reduction, and nuclear security, was honored for his "lifetime commitment to using the tools of science to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism and his dedication to building bridges through science during the period following the end of the Cold War."

The Public Engagement with Science Award: Steven Strogatz, a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University who has contributed widely to the popularization and public understanding of mathematics through his newspaper articles, books, radio and television appearances, documentaries and public lectures, was recognized for "his exceptional commitment to and passion for conveying the beauty and importance of mathematics to the general public."

Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science: Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at USC's Brain and Creativity Institute, was honored for her "sustained commitment and novel approach to integrating public engagement with science into her extensive research and scholarly activities and for using public interactions to inform her research."

The Lifetime Mentor Award: Andrew Tsin, a professor of biology and director of the Center for Research and Training in the Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), was honored for his efforts in "facilitating dramatic education and research changes at his institution, leading to a significant production of Hispanic American doctorates in the biological sciences."

The Mentor Award: Paul B. Tchounwou, associate dean of graduate studies and international programs in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Jackson State University, was honored "for his transformative impact and contributions towards the production of African American doctorates in the field of environmental sciences."

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books: Four science books exploring the inner workings of a school garden, the discovery of two-million-year-old fossils, the joys and possibilities of backyard bird watching, and the practical and ethical implications of biotechnology on our relationships with domesticated animals and wildlife earned top honors in the competition.

AAAS also announced the winners of the annual Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Endowment, each of whom will present research posters at the AAAS Annual Meeting. The Neimark winners are: Abhishek Chakrabortty, Akihito Fukudome, Lauren Grabstanowicz, Rebecca Reesman and Katya Solovyeva.