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.


AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science

formerly “AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology”

NOMINATION DEADLINE: The deadline has been moved from 15 August to 7 September



The Award

The AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science, 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.


  • The Award shall be given annually to scientists or engineers who, while working in their fields, have also contributed substantially to the public's engagement with science or technology.
  • Types of activities to be considered include books, magazines, and newspaper articles; broadcasting; lecturing; museum presentation and exhibit design; and other public outreach activities, local, national, and/or international.
  • Nominators are encouraged to identify candidates whose contributions reach broad audiences that include women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and senior citizens.


Eligible individuals include active or retired scientists and engineers from all disciplines, including social and behavioral sciences and biomedical fields, who have contributed substantially to the public's engagement with science or technology. Only materials produced for general audiences, as opposed to professional or trade audiences, will be considered. Employees of the AAAS are not eligible.

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 Ph.D.) may be eligible for the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.


  • All nominations must be printed or typed and submitted fully completed and postmarked on or before midnight, 7 September.
  • Nomination packets can instead be emailed to as long as all of the submission material is sent in one complete email and all materials are in PDF form.
  • Nominations may be made by AAAS affiliate organizations, universities, government agencies, media, research organizations, and individuals.
  • Prior nomination does not exclude a candidate from consideration in subsequent years.
  • The panel of judges will include distinguished scientists, engineers, and science communicators named by AAAS. The decisions of the Panel will be final.
  • During the Award year, 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

You should provide:

  • Name, position, institution, professional address and e-mail, professional phone and fax, home address and home phone number of the candidate;
  • A name, position, institution, and professional address and phone of the nominator;
  • A statement of the action or actions that form the basis for the nomination;
  • The candidate's curriculum vitae;
  • The names of two supporting persons whom AAAS may contact for more information on the candidate and his/her/their contributions;
  • At least one representative sample which illustrates the nominee's contribution. Books, videotapes, brochures, magazine articles, or other materials are appropriate. (If a nominator chooses to email their nomination packet, feel free to mail any additional supporting material to the address below.)

All materials become the property of AAAS.


Please submit mailed information to:

AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science
Attention: Dione Rossiter
1200 New York Avenue, NW Room 639
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-326-6645
Fax: 202-371-9849

Please submit emailed information to:

Dione Rossiter

2013 Recipient

Steven Strogatz is honored for his exceptional commitment to and passion for conveying the beauty and importance of mathematics to the general public.

View a list of all past recipients.


All materials must be postmarked by 7 September.

For addition comments and questions, please email the Award for Public Engagement with Science award coordinator, Dione Rossiter, at