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2003 Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipient

2003 Award Recipients

AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology

John Allen Paulos

Dr. John Allen Paulos is the recipient of the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He is honored for his substantial contributions in promoting the pleasures of mathematics to large audiences.

Established by the AAAS Board of Directors in 1987, the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the popularization of science. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

For more than two decades, John Allen Paulos has been communicating the pleasures and insights of mathematics to large audiences, both domestically and internationally. In addition to being a Professor of Mathematics at Temple University and Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, he is a renowned author, popular public speaker and monthly columnist for He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Paulos’s writings include Innumeracy (a New York Times bestseller for 18 weeks), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (on the readers’ list of the Random House Modern Library’s compilation of the 100 best nonfiction books of the century), Once Upon a Number (chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of 1998), and the just released A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (a new addition to the BusinessWeek best-seller list). He has also written scholarly papers on probability, logic and the philosophy of science, as well as scores of op-ed columns, book reviews, and articles in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Discover, American Scholar, London Review of Books, and The Nation.

Dr. Paulos has addressed audiences ranging from those in classrooms to members of the Smithsonian, from Harvard’s Nieman Fellows to its Hasty Pudding Club, from mathematical associations to stock market forums, and from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences to college gatherings, including the commencement assembly at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Paulos has appeared frequently on radio and television, including a four-part BBC adaptation of A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and appearances on the “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “20/20,” “Larry King Live,” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” He has been cited by cultural, business and political commentators and was even the answer to a Jeopardy question. He also served for two years on the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News where, as in his newspaper and columns, he straddled the disparate realms of Pythagoras and Pulitzer.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.