AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science



The Award

The AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science, formerly "AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology” established in 1987, recognizes scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the "popularization of science."  The recipient receives a monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize.

2015 Award Recipient: Mark Miodownik

Mark Miodownik is recognized for his enthusiastic and successful commitment to public engagement, igniting a sense of wonder about the world by unveiling the interplay between science, engineering, and society.

View a list of all past recipients.


  • Eligible nominees include active or retired scientists and engineers from all disciplines, who have contributed substantially to the public's engagement with science or technology.
  • Materials to be considered include websites, books, magazines, and newspaper articles; video, film, and broadcasting; lecturing; museum presentation and exhibit design; and other public outreach activities, local, national, and/or international.
  • Only materials produced for general audiences, as opposed to professional or trade audiences, will be considered.  
  • Employees of the AAAS are not eligible.
  • Nominations of individuals whose contributions reach broad audiences that include women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and senior citizens, are encouraged.

Nominees considered “early career,” which is defined as an individual who has been in his/her current field for less than seven years and pre-tenure or job equivalent, including post-doctoral fellows (meaning the nominee is typically within 7 years of receiving a PhD) may be eligible for the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.



  • All nominations must be submitted fully completed on or before midnight on August 15.
  • Nominations may be made by individuals, universities, government agencies, media, research organizations, and AAAS affiliate organizations.
  • Publishers may only offer one nomination.
  • Prior nomination does not exclude a nominee from renomination.
  • The selection committee will include distinguished scientists, engineers, science communicators, and science popularizers named by AAAS.
  • The decisions of the committee will be final.
  • AAAS may ask winners to contribute to public engagement with science by speaking to groups of AAAS constituencies, helping to identify people to work with youth and the public, and participating in other AAAS activities related to public communication of science.


Nomination Procedures

All nominations must be submitted electronically through our nomination form. Nominations will not be accepted by email or by post.

You will be asked to provide:

  • for the nominee: name, position, institution, e-mail, phone, and professional and home addresses;
  • for the nominator: name, position, institution, e-mail, phone, and professional and home addresses;
  • a statement of the public engagement activities that form the basis for the nomination (PDF, 500 word limit);
  • at least two representative material samples or other documentation which illustrate or describe the nominee’s contribution (PDF);
  • the nominee’s CV (PDF); 
  • and the names and email addresses of two supporting persons whom AAAS may contact for more information on the nominee and his/her contributions.
  • renominations MUST include a cover letter (PDF) recapitulating the application material, listing additional work since last submission, and explaining why the nominee deserves to be reconsidered.

All material submitted becomes the property of AAAS.

Nominate an outstanding "science popularizer" now!

Inquiries may be directed to:

Rebekah Corlew, PhD