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Philip Hauge Abelson Prize

Submit a Nomination

The Prize

The American Association for the Advancement of Science invites nominations for the 2020 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.  The prize was established in 1985 by the AAAS Board of Directors. A monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration to the AAAS Annual Meeting, and reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize are given to the recipient. The Prize will be presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, February 13-16, 2020.


The Philip Hauge Abelson Prize was established to be awarded to someone who has "made signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States" either as:

  • A public servant, in recognition of sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science; or
  • A scientist, whose career has been distinguished both for scientific achievement and for other notable services to the scientific community. 

Nomination Procedures

Visit the awards nomination site where you will be asked to provide the following:

  • The nominee’s name, title, institution, email address, mailing address, and phone number.
  • Your name, title, institution, email address, mailing address, and phone number.
  • A statement (no more than three pages) providing the rationale for the nomination.
  • The candidate’s vita or résumé (no more than three pages).
  • AAAS membership status (member, non-member, or unknown).


  • Nominations may be made by individuals, universities, government agencies, research organizations, and AAAS affiliate organizations.
  • Self-nominations are not allowed.
  • Prior nomination does not exclude a candidate from consideration in subsequent years.
  • The winner will be selected by a five-member judging panel. Decisions of the committee are final.

Advice for nominations:

The pool of nominations for the Abelson prize includes many exceptional people. Nominations are most successful when they effectively describe the aspects of the nominee’s work and career that differentiate the nominee from others who have held similar positions of leadership. Please articulate both the specific scientific achievements and the service to the scientific community that distinguish the nominee, giving careful attention to the context and details demonstrating “signal” and “exceptional” contributions.

All materials become the property of AAAS.


Please submit all information to the awards nomination site


All materials must be received by nomination deadline TBA.

Past Recipients

The 2019 recipient of the Abelson Prize was Cato T. Laurencin, who was honored for his global leadership in biomedical technology innovation, public service in shaping United States technology policy and invaluable mentorship to a generation of minority scientists.

List of past recipients

AAAS Awards

Each year, AAAS recognizes significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. Learn more about these awards and nominate a scientist, engineer, author, journalist or public servant for their outstanding work.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories. AAAS seeks as diverse a pool of award nominations as possible, including as well a wide range of disciplines, institutional types, and geographical locations.