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2010 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipient


Lynford L. Goddard

Lynford L. Goddard is honored as the first recipient of the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science for exemplifying an early career scientist eager to share his excitement about science and demonstrating excellence in reaching high school students with activities in electrical engineering, while simultaneously pursuing a competitive research career.

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, launched in 2010 through the generosity of the Hazen Foundation and several AAAS donors, recognizes “early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities.” Recipients receive $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Though it is still early in his career, Goddard has already demonstrated a commitment to public engagement by bringing engineering to hard-to-reach audiences through initiatives such as a “Girls Learning Electrical Engineering” (GLEE), a one-week summer camp to encourage 10th- through 12th-grade girls to explore electrical engineering. GLEE, first offered in 2010, included classroom instruction, hands-on activities, demonstrations, tours of research facilities, and a team project. The student manual for the camp, co-authored by Goddard, is expected to be published as a book, which will provide an introduction to electrical and computer engineering as well as tools to help other educators engage their students. Goddard has created numerous other hands-on activities designed to interest students in engineering and train them in the conduct of experimental research. He has also spoken broadly on the topic of mentoring and the importance of pursuing graduate degrees, and has personally served as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups.

Goddard joined the University of Illinois as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007. He also serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Photonics Journal and an Assistant Topical Editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America. His research focuses on fabricating, characterizing, and modeling individual lasers and photonics-based sensors, instrumentation, and integrated circuits, as well as developing new processing techniques and testing novel semiconductor materials and devices. Applications include hydrogen detection for fuel cells, optical spectrum analysis and low noise lasers for metrology and next generation fiber optic communication systems, and optical logic and memory for high speed data processing.

He is author or co-author of over 70 publications and was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2010.

Goddard received a B.S. degree (with distinction) in math and physics, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering, and a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1998, 2003, and 2005, respectively.

2010 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science Finalists

  • Shahzeen Attari, Columbia University
  • Yarrow Axford, Northwestern University
  • Jonathan Butcher, Cornell University
  • Nicole Garneau, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Maureen Gwinn, United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Lekelia Jenkins, University of Washington
  • Lisa Kalteneggar, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at Heidelberg & Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jennifer Moon, University of Texas at Austin &
  • Marc Russell, United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Sarah Trainor, University of Alaska at Fairbanks
  • Josh Willis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

AAAS’s Newly Endowed Award

As issues at the interface of science and society—from disease research to global climate change, evolution, human embryonic stem cell research, neuroscience, and others—take on increasing importance, the new Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science seeks to encourage efforts to promote interactive dialogue between scientists and non-scientific, public audiences. By highlighting and celebrating successful examples of public engagement, AAAS and our partners aim to communicate the importance of such efforts and create models for other scientists and engineers.

AAAS is grateful to Bob and Margee Hazen for their vision in initiating this award and for their generous gifts to establish the endowment that will fund it. We also wish to acknowledge Bruce and Betty Alberts, Alan and Agnes Leshner, David Evans Shaw, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Noyce Foundation for their leadership support, as well as the many others who have made contributions to make this award a reality.