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AAAS Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipients

Neil Orman | AAAS

The AAAS Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, formerly the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, was established in 1987 to recognize scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science. The recipient receives a monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, and recognition at the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Visit the awards nomination site from April 15 through June 30, 2022 11:59 ET, to nominate a scientist or engineer for the 2023 award, to be honored at the 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting. Inquiries may be directed to the

2022 Award Recipient: Dr. Rashawn Ray

Rashawn Ray is honored for his engagement on key social scientific concerns and social issues, applying a scientific lens to discussions of race and inequality. 

Past Recipients


Esther Ngumbi is honored for her engagement on sustainable agriculture and ending hunger, her commitment to diversifying the global community of scientists, and her work to change the culture of science.


J. Marshall Shepherd is honored for his high-profile public engagement and ability to connect with audiences about the ways in which weather and climate are linked to societal issues.


Joanna Verran, is recognized for translating her own research on microorganisms and surfaces into innovative public engagement activities and building capacity for science communication across her institution.

Michael E. Mann is honored for the breadth and depth of his tireless and effective efforts to communicate the science of climate change to the media, public, and policymakers.


Due to a change in naming convention, there is not a 2017 award recipient 

Richard Tapia is honored for his remarkable career blending world-class scholarship, admirable mentoring and profound contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and public engagement. 

Mark Miodownik is recognized for his enthusiastic and successful commitment to public engagement, igniting a sense of wonder about the world by unveiling the interplay between science, engineering, and society.

James Kakalios is recognized for the unique ways that he communicates the ideas and excitment of physics and stimulates the general public to learn more about the science and technology that shape their lives.

Steven Strogatz is honored for his exceptional commitment to, and passion for, conveying the beauty and importance of mathematics to the general public.

Richard B. Alley is recognized for his decades-long, broadbased and exceptionally effective efforts communicating the best of climate science to excite the interest of the general public and policymakers.

Nalini Nadkarni is honored for her efforts to bridge gaps between society and science, humans and nature. Her work has taken her to prisons and churches, boardrooms and bookstores, legislatures and rap music studios.

J. John Cohen is recognized for his innovative and interactive education models that have served to demystify and effectively communicate the medical sciences throughout the Denver, Colorado area and the world.

May R. Berenbaum is honored for for her extraordinary ability to integrate her original research on the world of insects with her inspirational efforts to communicate the wonders and complexity of nature.

Kenneth R. Miller is recognized for his sustained efforts and excellence in communicating evolutionary science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is honored for his passionate commitment, sustained excellence, and dynamic leadership in engaging the public in the frontiers of science.

S. James Gates, Jr. is recognized for sustained and career-long contributions to the public understanding of physics.

Jane Lubchenco is honored for her exemplary commitment to, and leadership of, public understanding of science initiatives in public policy and professional arenas as a core aspect of her scientific practice.

Eric S. Lander, is recognized for his excellence in communicating complex scientific ideas, and their implications for society, to the general public and policy-makers while actively engaged in a demanding research program.

John Allen Paulos, is honored for his substantial contributions in promoting the pleasures of mathematics to large audiences.

Bassam Shakhashiri, is recognized for his tireless commitment to educating the public, especially children, about the nature and wonder of science.

Ian N. Stewart, Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University and Director of the Mathematics Awareness Centre (MAC@W), for communicating the excitement of science and mathematics to millions of people around the world.

Vaclav Smil, University of Manitoba, Winnepeg, Canada, for providing the public with important resources to understand complex and pressing global issues.

Lawrence Krauss, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, for his global impact as a scientific communicator.

Christopher Wills, University of California, San Diego, for his work in explaining the marvels of evolutionary biology to the lay public.

Barry T. Peterson, University of Texas Health Center, for the scope and diversity of his efforts to communicate science to the public while maintaining a productive, full-time research center.

Alan J. Friedman, for the outstanding job he has done revitalizing the New York Hall of Science, a science center that communicates the wonder, excitement and joy of science to the general public.

Carl Sagan

Edward O. Wilson

Science Theatre

Farouk El-Baz

Stephen H. Schneider

William L. Rathje

Robert D. Ballard

Anthony M. Fauci

Philip Morrison

For more information about the history of the award, please see the Archives.