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.


AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science

The Award

Nomination Deadline: 15 October

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, established in 2010, recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities. A monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration to the AAAS Annual Meeting, and reimbursement for reasonable hotel and travel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize are given to the recipient.


For the purposes of this award, public engagement activities are defined as the individual’s active participation in efforts to engage with the public on science- and technology-related issues and promote meaningful dialogue between science and society, as highlighted in this video.

The award will be given at the AAAS Annual Meeting.


Nominee must be an early-career scientist or engineer in academia, government or industry actively conducting research in any scientific discipline (including social sciences and medicine). Groups or institutions will not be considered for this award. AAAS employees are ineligible. One scientist or engineer will be chosen to receive the award on an annual basis.

  • “Early career” is defined as an individual who has been in his/her current field for less than seven years and pre-tenure or job equivalent. Post-doctoral students are eligible for this award.

Nominee will have demonstrated excellence in his/her contribution to public engagement with science activities, with a focus on interactive dialogue between the individual and a non-scientific, public audience(s).

  • Types of public engagement activities might include: informal science education, public outreach, public policy, and/or science communication activities, such as mass media, public dialogue, radio, TV and film, science café, science exhibit, science fair, and social and online media.


All nominations must be submitted fully completed and postmarked on or before midnight, 15 October. Nominations should be emailed to the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology.

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 selection committee will include distinguished scientists, engineers, science communicators, and science popularizers named by AAAS. The decisions of the committee will be final.

During the award year, AAAS will expect the recipient will continue participating in public engagement with science activities and initiatives.

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;
  • name, position, institution, and professional address and phone of the nominator;
  • a statement of the public engagement activities that form the basis for the nomination;
  • at least two representative material samples or other documentation which illustrate or describe the candidate’s contribution;
  • the candidate’s vitae;
  • and the names of two supporting persons whom AAAS may contact for more information on the candidate and his/her contributions.

All materials submitted become the property of AAAS.


Please submit information electronically to:
AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology
Attn: Linda Hosler
Phone: 202-326-6656

2013 Recipient

Mary Helen Immordino-YangMary Helen Immordino-Yang is 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. She engages K-12 students in her neuroscience research through lab visits and internships for students from low-performing schools, and compliments her research by meeting with each study participant to discuss their brain scans, as well as their college plans and potential interest in a science career.

Please view the complete list of past recipients.


All materials must be received by 15 October.