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Press Release: AAAS Announces 2022 Winners of Eight Awards for Contributions to Science and Society

2022 AAAS Awards & Prizes

Washington, D.C. — The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, today announced the 2022 winners of eight awards and prizes bestowed by the AAAS Board of Directors. AAAS also separately announced the 2022 winners of AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books today.

These annual awards recognize scientists, engineers, authors, journalists, and public servants for their significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. The honorees will be awarded between $5,000-$25,000 each, totaling $70,000 across all eight awards, and will receive commemorative plaques that include their citations.

“These awards and prizes represent some of our most valued principles here at AAAS. These outstanding individuals have dedicated their careers and livelihoods to improving the world with science, and we’re proud to see them receive this recognition,” said Dr. Sudip S. Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

AAAS will recognize the awardees with tribute videos, which will be livestreamed during the virtual AAAS Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. ET. AAAS will also publish a feature story on each award and prize on aaas.org in the days following today’s news.

Winners are selected based on a variety of factors and nominations are solicited from the public, AAAS Board members, AAAS Members, and other scientific networks. Visit the AAAS Awards page for more information about each award.

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The following individuals and teams will be honored this month with their corresponding awards:

Philip Hauge Abelson Prize

Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg – Chair, Nuclear Threat Initiative | bio Advisory Group, NTI

This prize honors a public servant for sustained exceptional contributions to advancing

science, or a scientist or engineer whose career has been distinguished for scientific

achievement and for other notable services to the scientific community.

Dr. Hamburg has been honored for her distinguished career addressing challenges at the intersection of science, medicine, and the public. She served as the 21st Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (only the second woman to hold this position), foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, founding vice president and senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and several other government positions at the U.S. Federal and local levels. Dr. Hamburg also served as president of AAAS in 2019 and was elected as a Fellow of AAAS in 1995.

Newcomb Cleveland Prize

Breinlinger & Phillips et al. Hunting the eagle killer: A cyanobacterial neurotoxin causes vacuolar myelinopathy, institutions in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the United States

The organization’s oldest award dating back to 1923, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize is supported by the Fodor Family Trust. It is presented annually to the author(s) of the best research article or report published in Science each year. Winning research is selected based on the quality of the scholarship, innovation, and presentation; the likelihood of influencing its field; and wider interdisciplinary significance.

This year’s prize winners forged an international collaboration across government agencies, academic institutions, and the biotechnology sector to bring together over 20 years of research insights. The winning team is co-led by Dr. Susan Wilde, associate professor of aquatic science at the University of Georgia, and Dr. Timo Niedermeyer, professor of pharmacognosy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. Published in March 2021, this research highlights the emerging issues posed by toxic cyanobacteria in habitats beyond lakes and reservoirs, in particular their deadly impacts on bald eagles and other birds in the southeastern United States.

David and Betty Hamburg Award for Science Diplomacy

Sir David A. King – Founder and Chair, Centre for Climate Repair, Cambridge, United Kingdom

This award recognizes individual(s) in the scientific and engineering or foreign affairs communities who have made outstanding contributions to furthering science diplomacy. In April 2021, AAAS announced that the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy has been renamed in honor of Dr. Margaret Hamburg’s parents, Drs. David and Betty Hamburg. This award is made possible with philanthropic support, and AAAS gratefully acknowledges Carnegie Corporation of New York for its generous contribution to launch the renamed award and the individuals and foundations whose contributions have begun an endowment that will allow us to sustain it in perpetuity.

“As physicians, researchers, teachers, and mentors, David and Betty combined their extended knowledge and experiences to promote an optimistic path forward for humankind. In perpetuity, this award will capture the full spectrum of their extraordinary work while fostering a new generation of scientific leaders whose work lies at the intersection of science, human rights, and peace and diplomacy,” said Dr. Ken L. Davis, chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Health System, and a longtime friend and colleague of the Hamburgs.

Sir David, a South African-born British physical chemist, has received this honor as a diplomatic steward of international consensus around urgent global action on climate change. Sir David served as the U.K.’s Science Advisor from 2000-2007, became the U.K.’s first full-time Permanent Representative for Climate Change, established The Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University, and launched the Climate Crisis Advisory Group of international experts to advise policymakers on the climate.

Some of his notable accomplishments include influencing the European Union to adopt a Cap-and-Trade system similar to the British model; establishing the U.K. as the first country with an adaptation and mitigation policy on climate change; and advocating for the successful creation of Climate Attachés at UK embassies. He also traveled to 96 countries to persuade leaders to act on climate change, which enabled a landmark agreement to limit climate change during the 2015 United Nations Conference in Paris (COP21). During COP21, he also helped develop and launch Mission Innovation, a global alliance of 22 nations that delivers technologies to transition to a fossil fuel-free economy. Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, he partnered with international leaders to actively manage the transition to clean energies.  

Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility

Dr. Ronald W. Jones – Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Auckland, New Zealand

This award honors scientists, engineers, or organizations whose exemplary actions foster scientific freedom and responsibility. Dr. Ronald Jones received this award for work defending patients’ rights and scientific integrity and for maintaining the spotlight on these principles. He helped uncover one of the biggest medical scandals in New Zealand history, as part of a group of three Kiwi doctors who exposed ethical abuses in a study looking at cervical carcinoma in situ, or CIS.

In 1984, Dr. Jones and senior colleagues Jock McLean and Bill McIndoe published a scientific paper about the disastrous outcome of a study led by Professor Herbert Green that observed women with CIS – without their consent and without treating them – despite near-universal agreement among gynecologists and pathologists that CIS was a precursor of cancer. Many of these women subsequently developed cancer and some died.

This led to a public inquiry in 1987 where Judge Silvia Cartwright observed that an unethical experiment had been carried out in large numbers of women for over 20 years. In 2017, Dr. Jones published a book: Doctors in Denial: The forgotten women in the ‘unfortunate experiment’. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Auckland District Health Board issued official apologies in 2017 and 2018, respectively, to the women affected by the experiment.

Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science

Dr. Rashawn Ray – Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR), University of Maryland, College Park, and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

This award recognizes scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science. Since 2019, this award has been endowed by and named for quantum physicist Mani L. Bhaumik, internationally recognized for making advances to excimer laser technology, which eventually led to Lasik eye surgery. Dr. Bhaumik envisions this award as highlighting scientists whose exceptional efforts are transforming the way the public engages with and understands science.

Dr. Rashawn Ray has been awarded for public engagement around racial, gender, and class injustice issues and for applying a nuanced understanding around inequity through research to help foster a more equitable society. He works with police departments to reduce racially motived police violence, and he advocates for making academic research more accessible to the public through opinion pieces and news stories, policy reports, and lawmaker engagement.

Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett – Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

This award recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett has received this award based on the instrumental role she played in public engagement efforts to address vaccine concerns among communities of color, particularly Black Americans who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and historically excluded from scientific discussions and decision-making. Dr. Corbett engaged in churches, town halls, community meetings, on social media, in the news, via national figures and trusted community allies. One nominator credited her efforts with likely saving tens of thousands of people who agreed to get vaccinated because of her.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes of Health, she played a central role in developing the Moderna mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, receiving a Golden Goose Award in 2020 with her colleagues for this accomplishment.

Lifetime Mentor Award

Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi – Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences/Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University, and Baker Family Director and Founder, Stanford ChEM-H

This award honors AAAS Members who over the span of 25 or more years have mentored significant numbers of underrepresented students working toward the completion of a doctorate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or looking to increase diversity of students pursuing and completing doctorates in STEM fields.

Known for launching the field of biorthogonal chemistry, Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi is being honored for her extraordinary contributions to mentorship and diversity in chemistry and chemical biology. Through her time at the University of California, Berkeley, and now at Stanford University, she has mentored over 270 post-doctoral and graduate students, and undergraduate researchers, including 52 women and underrepresented students who completed their doctorates in her group or went on to complete their doctorates at other prestigious universities.

Dr. Bertozzi directs the Stanford ChEM-H Chemistry/Biology Interface Graduate Training Program, which she founded. She has grown the program to more than 90 graduate trainees, including women, underrepresented minorities, and students with disabilities. Also, she recently announced the launch of the ChEM-H/IMA Postbaccalaureate Program in Target Discovery to prepare recent college graduates from diverse and historically underserved backgrounds to apply for doctorate programs in the sciences.  

Mentor Award

Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann – Stevenson Professor of Astrophysics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University

This award is for individuals who have mentored significant numbers of underrepresented students (e.g., women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) working toward a doctorate in STEM. The Mentor Award recognizes Dr. Holley-Bockelmann’s pioneering program, which established relationships between students and faculty from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority servicing institutions (MSIs) with researchers from R1 research institutions to conduct joint research and provide sponsorships, training, and mentorships.

Through her leadership of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann has encouraged students to stay in STEM; developed a bootcamp to prepare students for their graduate studies and research; established an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses that federal grants do not cover; and created a committee to act on social justice issues.

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit www.aaas.org.

Author

Olivia Tarantino

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