AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation
2012 Award Recipient
An energy research expert, Dr. Nancy Jackson’s career has evolved over more than 20 years with the Sandia National Laboratories. She is a leader in international chemical security and has made many contributions in science diplomacy.
In 2007, the U.S. Department of State sought her advice to create a program to help prevent terrorists from seizing chemicals for malevolent purposes. Starting with a budget of $140,000, Dr. Jackson organized the Chemical Security Engagement Program (CSP)—now a $5 million effort. The program engages governments, universities, professional associations and industry—and through them, the chemistry community—in chemical safety and security. Participating nations include Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Jordan, among others. A range of international institutions are also involved. Through CSP, Dr. Jackson has built collaborative relationships and a worldwide network of scientists dedicated to reducing the threat of misuse of chemicals.
In 2011, Dr. Jackson was elected President of the American Chemical Society (ACS). That year—dubbed the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) by the United Nations—she conducted 17 trips abroad extending science diplomacy. IYC and the ACS presidency permitted her to write and speak extensively about the role of science diplomacy as essential for the future of world harmony and security.
Dr. Jackson has also been instrumental in the development of a Code of Conduct for chemists in the Middle East—a critical step in helping to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the region. The Code will delineate “best practices” for chemical safety, chemical security, and environmental protection for chemists, chemical engineers, universities, and industry.
Dr. Jackson received her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She received the Distinguished Women in Chemical Engineering Award at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) World Chemistry Congress in 2011. She is a fellow of AAAS and IUPAC and the recipient of the Howard Fawcett Award, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety, and has been recognized widely for her efforts to support many young aspiring chemists world- wide, especially women chemists in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia.
Her many contributions to furthering science diplomacy have had significant impact, and AAAS is pleased to honor her as the first recipient of its Award for Science Diplomacy.
Established in 2012, the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy recognizes an individual or a limited number of individuals working together in the scientific and engineering or foreign affairs communities making an outstanding contribution to furthering science diplomacy.
Please click here  for a list of past recipients.