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.
2008 Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipient
AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology
2008 Award Recipient
Kenneth R. Miller
Kenneth R. Miller is honored for his sustained efforts and excellence in communicating evolutionary science.
The AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, established in 1987, recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the “popularization of science.” Recipients receive $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Kenneth R. Miller is a superstar in the public outreach and engagement world. He has appeared in court in support of evolution, including his participation as a lead scientific witness in the Dover, Pennsylvania Intelligent Design trail. As such, he made an extraordinarily persuasive public case for the power of science in general, and the validity of evolution in particular, to explain the natural world. He was extensively quoted and filmed in the news and entertainment media, and in the process he did the scientific community an immeasurable service.
Dr. Miller’s research on cell membrane structure and function has led to more than 60 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals. He is also the co-author of one of the most widely used high school biology textbooks (Prentice Hall’s Biology), which has gone through numerous editions with millions of copies in print. This volume is especially notable for its articulate emphasis on evolution as an underlying principle in the life sciences.
Dr. Miller is Professor of Biology and Royce Family Professor for Teaching Excellence at Brown University. He did his undergraduate work at Brown, graduating in 1970, earned his Ph.D. in 1974 at the University of Colorado, and spent six years teaching at Harvard University before returning to Brown. He serves as an advisor on life sciences to The NewsHour, a daily PBS television program on news and public affairs.
His popular book, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution, addresses the scientific status of evolutionary theory and its relationship to religious views of nature. His new book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul was published in 2008.
He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Citation of the American Institute for Biological Sciences, 2005; the Public Service Award from the American Society for Cell Biology, 2006; Science Educator of the Year by the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, 2007; and the Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Biology Teachers, 2008. Dr. Miller was honored as a AAAS Fellow in 2006.
Please click here  for a list of past recipients.