AAAS Awards

To recognize scientists, journalists, and public servants for significant contributions to science and to the public’s understanding of science, the Association administers the awards listed below. All awards are presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting immediately following the award year.


2000 Award Recipients

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is honored to recognize the distinguished individuals receiving awards and prizes at the 2001 AAAS Annual Meeting. The recipients of these awards are to be praised for their dedication and commitment to furthering the scientific enterprise. We applaud and commend the extraordinary achievements of this select group of scientists, engineers, and journalists.

The Awards were presented by:

Mary L. Good
President, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Richard S. Nicholson
Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Award Recipients

Previous Recipients

AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation


This year’s recipient of the Award for International Scientific Cooperation is Dr. Kenneth Bridbord. He is honored for his decisive impact in training researchers worldwide for productive and collaborative public health research, and significantly expanding training and collaborative research on AIDS.

The AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation recognizes an individual for making extraordinary contributions to furthering international cooperation in science and engineering. The winner receives $2,500 and a commemorative plaque.

Kenneth Bridbord is a graduate of the Cooper Union (B.S. in Chemical Engineering), the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (M.D.), and the Harvard School of Public Health (M.P.H.). He is clinically trained in pediatrics. For nearly 30 years, he has been involved in public health research and preventive medicine with the U.S. Government. Dr. Bridbord began his government career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and later joined the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 1983, Dr. Bridbord has been with the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where for the past six years he has been Director of the Division of International Training and Research.

In 1975, Dr. Bridbord was honored with a Silver Medal from the EPA for his work developing the health basis for reducing lead in gasoline and for his contributions to the regulations that began the process of phasing lead out of gasoline. These changes ultimately reduced blood lead levels in the United States and stimulated similar actions in many other countries. At NIOSH, Dr. Bridbord made important contributions to the development of strategies and policies to limit occupational exposures to lead, reproductive hazards, and carcinogens.

During his 17 years at the Fogarty International Center, Dr. Bridbord has contributed substantially to the development of a wide range of international training and research capacity building programs. These programs help developing countries combat global health threats. For example, the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP), begun in 1988, trains scientists in developing countries to address the AIDS epidemic primarily through prevention research.

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AAAS Award for Public Understanding Of Science and Technology


This year’s recipient of the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology is Dr. Vaclav Smil. He is honored for providing the public with important resources to understand complex and pressing global issues.

The AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the “popularization of science.” The prize consists of a commemorative plaque and $5,000.

Vaclav Smil is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy). He is a graduate of Carolinum University in Prague and Pennsylvania State University. His research concentrates on energy, the environment, food, population, and public policy from a global perspective with special reference to China. Dr. Smil has published 250 papers in more than 80 different journals and 18 books including Energy Food Environment: Realities Myths Options (Oxford), General Energetics: Energy in the Biosphere and Civilization (Wiley), Global Ecology: Environmental Change and Social Flexibility (Routledge), Cycles of Life: Civilization and the Biosphere (Scientific American Library), and Energies: An Illustrated Guide to Biosphere and Civilization (MIT Press). His latest books are Feeding the World: A Challenge for the Twenty-First Century and Enriching the Earth (both MIT Press); the former explores the future of the global food supply and the latter details the history and diffusion of ammonia synthesis and the enormous consequences it has had on keeping roughly a third of humanity alive, as well as heavily interfering with the biosphere’s nitrogen cycle.

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AAAS Mentor Award


This year’s recipient of the Mentor Award is Dr. Lisa A. Pruitt. She is recognized for her exceptional mentoring, community activism, and efforts to diversify the talent pool in materials and bioengineering.

The AAAS Mentor Award honors members of the Association who have mentored significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups over a period of less than 10 years. The winner receives a commemorative plaque and $2,500.

Lisa Pruitt received her Ph.D. in engineering from Brown University in 1993. She joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in July 1993 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1998. In January of 1999, Dr. Pruitt began serving a joint appointment between the newly formed Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Additionally, she holds the position of Director of the Medical Polymer and Biomaterials Group.

Dr. Pruitt’s research focuses on the structure-property relationships of load bearing medical grade polymers and biological materials. She seeks to develop micromechanistic links between structure and properties in load bearing tissues and their replacements through her work. Current projects include the modification of material architecture and surface chemistry of medical grade polymers for improved mechanical properties and optimized biocompatibility in vivo. In addition, her research includes the biomechanical characterization of carotid plaques and vascular tissue for the assessment of cardiovascular treatments and the development of predictive models for plaque rupture.

Dr. Pruitt is the author of over 90 publications in the area of polymers and biomaterials. In addition, Dr. Pruitt teaches several courses in the area of mechanics, polymers, and biomaterials. These include freshman seminars on Perspectives in Engineering Science, Careers in Bioengineering, and Materials in Medicine; undergraduate courses on Mechanical Behavior and Processing of Materials, Structural Aspects of Biomaterials, and Principles of Bioengineering; and graduate courses on Fracture Mechanics, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, and Polymer Engineering.

AAAS Mentor Award For Lifetime Achievement


The recipients of the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement are Dr. Evelyn L. Hu and Dr. William E. Spicer.

Dr. Evelyn L. Hu is recognized for her extraordinary mentoring and for opening the doors for women and other underrepresented students and faculty in electrical and computer engineering.

Dr. William E. Spicer is recognized for his efforts to build student’s confidence in themselves and for his dedication to the advancement of minorities and women in electrical engineering, applied physics, physics, and materials science.

The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement honors members of the Association who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in efforts to increase the participation of individuals with physical disabilities, women, and minorities in science and engineering. The recipient receives a commemorative plaque and $5,000.

Evelyn L. Hu received her B.A. in physics (summa cum laude) from Barnard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University. From 1975 to 1981, Dr. Hu was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ. Subsequently, she served from 1981 to 1984 as a Supervisor for VLSI Patterning Processes at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ. In 1984, she joined the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Dr. Hu currently holds joint appointments in ECE and Materials and has served as Director of QUEST, a NSF-funded Science and Technology Center. She is the Scientific Co-Director of the newly-formed California Nanosystems Institute, a UCLA-UCSB collaborative California Institute for Science and Innovation. In addition, Dr. Hu is the Director of the UCSB node of the NSF-sponsored national Nanofabrication Users Network.

Dr. Hu’s research interests focus on high-resolution fabrication of compound semiconductor electronic and optoelectronic devices, candidate structures for the realization of quantum computation schemes, and novel device structures formed through the heterogeneous integration of materials. In particular, she concentrated on ion-assisted chemical etching techniques having high spatial resolution, photo-driven processing tuned to the unique optical properties of the materials, and passivation treatments to enhance optical and electrical properties of structures at submicron dimensions. She has studied the formation of high quality, heterogeneous interfaces, such as those between semiconductors and superconductors, oxide and semiconductor, and two non lattice-matched semiconductors. Dr. Hu is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Physical Society (APS), and the AAAS, and holds an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Glasgow.

William E. Spicer, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1929, received his first B.S. in physics from the College of William and Mary and was Phi Beta Kappa at the age of 19. Further degrees were earned at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Missouri at Columbia (Ph.D., 1955). His honors include: the senior prizes of the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society, the Buckley Prize, the Welch Medal, and the R and D Magazine (Dunn and Bradstreet) Scientist of the Year in 1981. He also received an honorary degree from Linkoping University in Sweden (1975).

Dr. Spicer was born with significant learning and speech difficulties. Remnants of these problems have followed him throughout his career and being able to overcome them has allowed Dr. Spicer to develop an unusually strong rapport with his students. He understands that building confidence in students opens closed doors more easily and ensures excellent research. Dr. Spicer has a special affinity for working with underrepresented minorities and women because of his own difficulties.

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AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

Gerald M. Rubin and Susan E. Celniker representing the Drosophila Genome Center, University of California-Berkeley

J. Craig Venter and Mark D. Adams representing Celera Genomics

The 1999-2000 Newcomb Cleveland Prize is awarded to the authors of the review entitled ‘The Genome Sequence of Drosophila melanogaster’ published on March 24, 2000. They are honored for the collaborative effort by academic and industry researchers to understand the organization of the hereditary material at the finest structural level.

The Newcomb Cleveland Prize acknowledges an outstanding paper published in the Articles, Research Articles, or Reports sections of Science. This is the oldest of the AAAS Awards. It was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City. Each recipient receives a bronze medal and a share of the $5,000 prize.

Gerald M. Rubin received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1974, and did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of David S. Hogness at Stanford University from 1974 to 1976. He held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and the Carnegie Institution of Washington before moving to the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. He was appointed an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1987 and became its Vice President for Biomedical Research last year. In addition, he has served as Director of the Drosophila Genome Center at Berkeley since its inception in 1992. Dr. Rubin has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1987.

His numerous awards include the American Chemical Society Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, the National Academy of Sciences U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, and the Genetics Society of America Medal. Dr. Rubin also received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize in 1983.

Susan E. Celniker received her undergraduate degree from Pitzer College in 1975, her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1983, and did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Ed Lewis at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1984 to 1986. She was a Senior Research Associate and Visiting Associate at Caltech until moving to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1996 where she directs the DNA sequencing efforts at the Drosophila Genome Center.

J. Craig Venter is co-founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Celera Genomics. Celera was founded in 1998. Dr. Venter received both his undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1972 and his Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology in 1975 from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Venter is also the Founder and Chair of the Board of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), a not-for-profit genomics research institution. He was the President of TIGR from 1992 to 1998. Between 1984 and 1992, Dr. Venter served in various capacities, including Section Chief and Lab Chief, in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prior to 1984, he held several teaching positions at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Memorial Institute. Dr. Venter has published more than 160 research articles and has received numerous awards, including the King Faisal Award in Science. He has been elected a Fellow of several societies, including the AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Venter was recently selected as a runner-up for Time Magazine’s Man of the Year and was selected as Man of the Year by the Financial Times.

Mark Adams currently serves as Vice President of Genome Programs at Celera having joined the organization at its inception in 1998. Dr. Adams received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC, in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1990.

Dr. Adams was a founding scientist of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in 1992 and served as its Director of DNA Sequencing. In 1996, he was named Director of Eukaryotic Genomes. Prior to his positions at TIGR, Dr. Adams was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Adams is a co-developer of the EST method of sequencing, which is a part of the foundation of Celera’s technique in the sequencing of the Drosophila, human, and mouse genomes.

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AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize


This year’s recipient of the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize is Dr. Leon M. Lederman. He is honored for his outstanding scientific scholarship, his leadership and advocacy of international collaborations in science, and his commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education at the local, state, and national levels.

The AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize honors a public servant for exceptional contributions to advancing science or a scientist or engineer for a distinguished career of scientific achievement and service to the community. Established in 1985 by the AAAS Board of Directors, the Prize is a tribute to Dr. Abelson’s long-time service as Editor of Science. The winner receives $2,500 and a commemorative medal.

Leon M. Lederman, internationally renowned high-energy physicist, is Director Emeritus of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL, having served as its Director from 1979 to 1989. Currently, he holds an appointment as the Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

For more than thirty years, Dr. Lederman was both a student and faculty member at Columbia University and served there as the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics from 1972 to 1979. As Director of the Nevis Laboratories in Irvington, Columbia’s center for experimental research in high-energy physics, from 1962 to 1979, Dr. Lederman led an extensive and wide-ranging series of experiments that provided major advances in the understanding of particles and interactions. His work there contributed significantly to what is known as the “standard model.” Some of Dr. Lederman’s major findings include the observation of parity violation in decay of pi and mu mesons, the discovery of the long-lived neutral kaon, the discovery of two kinds of neutrinos, the discovery of the upsilon particle, and the first evidence for the bottom quark. Dr. Lederman has published more than 300 papers and has sponsored the research of 52 graduate students.

In 1990, Dr. Lederman was elected President of the AAAS and is currently a member of the National Academy of Science. His numerous awards include: the National Medal of Science (1965), the Elliot Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1976), the Wolf Prize in Physics (1982), the Nobel Prize in Physics (1988), and the Enrico Fermi Prize given by President Clinton in 1993.

Dr. Lederman’s presence in the scientific community has been felt internationally, nationally, and locally. He served as a founding member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel of the United States Department of Energy and the International Committee for Future Accelerators. Dr. Lederman served as Chair of the State of Illinois Governor’s Science Advisory Committee and is a founder and the inaugural Resident Scholar at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a 3-year residential public high school for the gifted. He is a founder and Chair of the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, which is active in the professional development of primary school teachers in Chicago. Dr. Lederman also serves on the Board of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board, the Council of American Science Writers, the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the University Research Association Board. In addition, Dr. Lederman has received honorary degrees and memberships in over 30 institutions, including those in England, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Israel, Finland, and Russia

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AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award


This year’s recipient of the AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility is Dr. Howard K. Schachman. He is honored for his advocacy of scientific freedom and the responsible conduct of research.

The AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility honors scientists and engineers whose exemplary actions, often taken at significant personal cost, have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility. Recipients receive a commemorative plaque and $2,500.

Howard K. Schachman has been on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley since obtaining his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 1948. In rising through the ranks at Berkeley, he served as Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Director of the Virus Laboratory from 1969 to 1977. Currently, Dr. Schachman is Professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Honors for his distinguished research include: the E.H. Sargent and Co. Award for Chemical Instrumentation (1962), the John Scott Award of the City of Philadelphia (1964), the Warren Triennial Prize of Massachusetts General Hospital (1965), the Merck Award of the American Society of Biological Chemists (1968), and the Herbert A. Sorber Award of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1994).

Dr. Schachman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1968. In 1987-88, he served as President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and, in 1989, as President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). During his tenure there, Dr. Schachman became deeply involved in discussions of scientific misconduct and helped formulate policies regarding misconduct that were acceptable to the scientific community. Dr. Schachman argued against ambiguous government definitions that suggested practices that deviated from those commonly accepted should be considered misconduct. Instead, policies should include a precise definition of scientific misconduct as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. In turn, he argued for appropriate procedures to investigate allegations of misconduct and impose sanctions when guilt was established.

Dr. Schachman successfully opposed the Public Health Service’s ALERT system that prematurely listed individuals under investigation. For his efforts, FASEB honored him in 1994 with its Public Service Award, which is usually given to government officials. Since 1994, Dr. Schachman has served as a Special Advisor to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and has acted as the NIH Ombudsman in the Basic Sciences. He routinely counsels American research institutions about alternative funding strategies, reducing bureaucratic burdens, improving the quality of peer review at NIH, and ensuring the integrity of research. This experience has led to his current interest—writing and lecturing on “New Secrecy in Science: Government-Imposed to Self-Imposed.”

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AAAS Science Journalism Awards

These awards recognize excellence in the reporting of the sciences and engineering and their technological applications.

  • Daily Newspapers with circulation of 100,00 or more
    Rich Weiss and Deborah Nelson
    “Gene Therapy” (series), The Washington Post
    September 29, November 21, 1999; March 7, 2000
  • Newspapers with circulation less than 100,00
    James B. Erickson
    “Signs of Life” (series), The Arizona Daily Star, March 5-7, 2000
  • Magazine Winners
    Mark Schoofs
    “AIDS: The Agony of Africa” (series), The Village Voice, November 30, December 7, 21, 1999
  • Television Winner
    Richard HudsonEliene AugenbraunIra Flatow, and Gino Del Guercio
    “Transistorized!”, Twin Cities Public Television/PBS, November 8, 1999
  • Radio Winner
    Moira K. Rankin and David Barrett Wilson
    “Gamma Ray Skies,” January 28, 2000, “Einstein’s Blunder,” June 23, 2000, “The Fate of the Universe,” July 28, 2000, SOUNDPRINT MediaCenter, Inc.

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