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Recipients of the AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility

2023 Recipient

The 2023 award was given to Dr. Peter Hotez for his career dedicated to the promotion and defense of vaccine science, and the development and distribution of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines.

Past Recipients

Dr. Ronald W. Jones
, an obstetrician and gynecologist from Auckland, New Zealand, for his work defending patients’ rights and scientific integrity and for maintaining the spotlight on these principles.

Ricardo Galvão, a Brazilian physicist, is recognized for fighting to protect the welfare of the people of Brazil and the immense natural wonder that is the Amazon rainforest.

Erin Kimmerle, a forensic anthropologist, is recognized for her work to account for dozens of children buried at a notorious Florida reform school.

Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana were recognized for their work investigating a possible connection between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease that occurred under challenging circumstances.

Marc Edwards is recognized for his efforts to apply his engineering expertise to revealing dangerous levels of lead contamination in water supplies in Flint, Michigan.

Award years adjusted; see 2018.

Kurt Gottfried is honored for his long and distinguished career as a ‘civic scientist,’ through his advocacy for arms control, human rights, and integrity in the use of science in public policy making.”

Jean Maria Arrigo is honored for her courage in speaking against the American Psychological Association’s approval of its members’ participation in “enhanced interrogation techniques”

Omid Kokabee is recognized for his steadfast courage in defending scientific freedom by refusing to participate in weapons-related research in Iran.

Hoosen Coovadia is recognized for his lifelong devotion to children’s health and for defending, in the face of opposition from his government, the use of sound science in the development of policies addressing the treatment and prevention of HIV/ AIDS.

Kiyoshi Kurokawa is honored for his contribution to society by his remarkable stewardship of an independent investigation into the causes of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Drs. Jentsch, London, and Ringach are recognized for their determination to defend the value of the use of animals in research and to ensure that extremists trying to prevent animal studies will not prevail.

Elizabeth Loftus is honored for the profound impact that her pioneering research on human memory has had on the administration of justice in the United States and abroad.

Nancy Olivieri is honored for her indefatigable determination that patient safety and research integrity come before institutional and commercial interests and for her courage in defending these principles in the face of severe consequences.

Drummond Rennie is honored for his career-long efforts to promote integrity in scientific research and publishing.

James Hansen is honored for his courageous and steadfast advocacy in support of scientists’ responsibilities to communicate their scientific opinions and findings openly and honestly on matters of public importance.

Eugenie Scott, the Dover High School Science Department, and R. Wesley McCoy: These dedicated individuals are honored for their determination to defend sound education in U.S. public schools by vigorously challenging attempts to introduce intelligent design into science classes.

Dr. David Michaels is this year’s recipient of the AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. He is recognized for his commitment to obtain justice for workers whose health suffered from working in nuclear weapons programs, and for advocating scientific integrity in public policy making.


The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) of the National Institutes of Health, for steadfast commitment to academic freedom in the face of mounting social and political pressure.

Walter Reich, for his longstanding devotion to human rights issues, particularly his role in making known the abuses of psychiatry in the Soviet Union and spearheading an international effort to condemn such practices.

L. Dennis Smith, for his steadfast commitment to academic freedom in the face of mounting social and political pressure.

No Award Given.

Howard K. Schachman, for his advocacy of scientific freedom and the responsible conduct of research.

Aleksandr Nikitin, in recognition of his outstanding efforts to protect the environment and human health by documenting the dangerous nuclear waste management practices in post-Soviet Russia.

Joel L. Lebowitz, for his tireless devotion to the rights of scientists in oppressive regimes throughout the world and his extraordinary creativity in finding ways to help these scientists survive their ordeals.

JoAnn Burkholder, in recognition of her dedicated and untiring efforts to focus public attention on the potential negative impacts of the microorganism Pfisteria piscicida on the marine environment.

Salim Kheirbek, for his steadfast courage and uncompromising commitment, at great personal sacrifice and risk, to promote and defend the rights of Syrian citizens, particularly the right of scientists and engineers to form professional societies independent of the state.

For a complete listing of past AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility recipients, please see the Archives.

For More Information

Please contact Nathaniel Weisenberg, Senior Program Associate, AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, at email