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 Newcomb Cleveland Prize

Supported by The Fodor Family Trust


The Prize

The Association’s oldest award, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by The Fodor Family Trust, was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City and was originally called the AAAS Thousand Dollar Prize. It is now known as the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, and its value has been raised to $25,000. The winner also receives a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting.


The prize is awarded to the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science. Each annual contest starts with the first issue of June and ends with the last issue of the following May.

An eligible paper is one that includes original research data, theory, or synthesis; is a fundamental contribution to basic knowledge or is a technical achievement of far-reaching consequence; and is a first-time publication of the author’s own work. Reference to pertinent earlier work by the author may be included to give perspective.

Nomination Procedures

Throughout the year, readers of Science are invited to nominate papers appearing in the Research Articles or Reports sections. Nominations must be typed, and the following information provided:

  • title of the paper,
  • author’s name,
  • date of issue in which it was published,
  • page number,
  • and a brief statement of justification for nomination.

Please note: self-nominations will not be accepted for the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize. Final selection is determined by a panel of distinguished scientists appointed by the editor-in-chief of Science.


Please submit all information to:

Science Editorial Office
Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief
1200 New York Avenue, NW, Room 1044
Washington, DC 20005

Phone 202-326-6560

2012 Recipient

The 2012 Newcomb Cleveland Prize is awarded to Vincent Mourik, Kun Zuo, Sergey M. Frolov, Sébastien R. Plissard, Erik P. A. M. Bakkers, and Leo P. Kouwenhoven for the report “Signatures of Majorana Fermions in Hybrid Superconductor-Semiconductor Nanowire Devices” published in Science 25 May 2012, pp. 1003-1007.

This paper provides experimental evidence for the presence of an exotic quasiparticle, the Majorana fermion. These particles, different from bosons and normal fermions that make up all matter, are equal to their own antiparticles. Such particles had only been predicted mathematically. Mourik et al. engineered a nanostructure of a superconductor in contact with a semiconductor wire that, when placed in a strong magnetic field, showed several features consistent with that predicted for the elusive Majorana state. Their results and approach have generated numerous follow-on experiments and work, and their design could allow for the manipulation of Majorana states, which, if verified, could lead to new types of quantum computing and other applications.

Read a list of past recipients.


All materials must be received by 30 June.